The rivers all in Paradise
Flow with the word Allah, Allah,
And ev'ry loving nightingale
He sings and sings Allah Allah.
'As Through a Veil: Mystical Poetry in Islam'
By Annemarie Schimmel
From the beautiful odes of Jalaluddin Rumi to the whimsy of nonsense verse, this is a detailed and readable introduction to the development of Islamic mystical poetry. Annemarie Schimmel has drawn exhaustively on an enormous range of sources both ancient and modern to create this thorough survey of a unique body of literature. Travelling from continent to continent across the centuries, this fascinating story of Islamic poetry encompasses a wide spectrum of traditions and cultures, from Arabic religious verse to the ecstasies of the Persian Sufis and the popular folk poetry of India and Pakistan. Showing how the varying strands of the tradition unite to form one single message of all-embracing love, Schimmel also covers such specific topics as: • the challenges of interpreting verse that is both sensual and sacred • sacrifice and spiritual love • the role of the feminine in folk poetry An accessible introduction for the general reader, this insightful account also contains detailed notes and a full bibliography for scholars and students, and will serve as an indispensable companion to some of the most exquisite literature ever penned.