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The Translator of Desires


Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi

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Belletristik / Lyrik, Dramatik


A masterpiece of Arabic love poetry in a new and complete English translation

The Translator of Desires, a collection of sixty-one love poems, is the lyric masterwork of Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi (1165–1240 CE), one of the most influential writers of classical Arabic and Islamic civilization. In this authoritative volume, Michael Sells presents the first complete English translation of this work in more than a century, complete with an introduction, commentary, and a new facing-page critical text of the original Arabic. While grounded in an expert command of the Arabic, this verse translation renders the poems into a natural, contemporary English that captures the stunning beauty and power of Ibn ‘Arabi’s poems in such lines as “A veiled gazelle’s / an amazing sight, / her henna hinting, / eyelids signalling // A pasture between / breastbone and spine / Marvel, a garden / among the flames!”

The introduction puts the poems in the context of the Arabic love poetry tradition, Ibn ‘Arabi’s life and times, his mystical thought, and his “romance” with Niẓām, the young woman whom he presents as the inspiration for the volume—a relationship that has long fascinated readers. Other features, following the main text, include detailed notes and commentaries on each poem, translations of Ibn ‘Arabi’s important prefaces to the poems, a discussion of the sources used for the Arabic text, and a glossary.

Bringing The Translator of Desires to life for contemporary English readers as never before, this promises to be the definitive volume of these fascinating and compelling poems for years to come.

Weitere Titel von diesem Autor
Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi
Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi



Narrative, Solomon ibn Gabirol, Philip Sherrard, Eyelid, Holograph, Najd, Prose, Mary, mother of Jesus, Poetry, Biography, Geoffrey Hartman, Religion, Robert Pinsky, Ghazal, Michael Sells, Edition (book), Islamic culture, Sunni Islam, Printing, Rite, Cyrus the Great, Scansion, Righteousness, John of the Cross, Writing system, Theology, Sufism, Metafiction, Manuscript, Charles Simic, Hermes Trismegistus, Muslim, David Hinton, Iskandar, Mysticism, Rabbinic literature, Satires (Juvenal), Transliteration, Firmament, Literary theory, S. (Dorst novel), W. S. Merwin, Preface (liturgy), Bedouin, Gog and Magog, Ibn Taymiyyah, Eloquence, Quotation mark, Robert Bly, Literature, Bernard McGinn (theologian), Mark Strand, Narration, The Various, Arabic, Poet, Allusion, Rainer Maria Rilke, Cloister, English poetry, Paul Verlaine, Generosity, Long poem, Islam, Sandgrouse, Karl Kirchwey, The Shadow of Death, Rebuke, Coleman Barks, Semiotics, Full moon, Iraq, Poetic tradition, Arabs, Image of God, The Other Hand, Howdah, Stress (linguistics), Edmund Keeley, Peter Cole, Proofreading, Ibn Jubayr, Julian of Norwich, Adrienne Rich, Ramon Llull, Potion, Classical Arabic, Al-Andalus, Writing, Selected Poems (C. A. Smith), Quran, Ghalib, Hafez, Northrop Frye, Epithet, Christian mysticism, Hadith, Arabic poetry, Stanza, Contrition