Hummingbird Sleep
Poems, 2009-2011

Coleman Barks

New poems from the best-selling translator of Rumi

Reviews

"A mighty book. A rain dance between Plotinus and the grandeur of an Athens snowfall. Hummingbird Sleep is so good I have taken up residence in it. Barks is writing out where the buses don't park. This is his finest work yet: intimate, touched with grief, but with a great intensity of wonder. The whole affair carries a pirate's joy for life."
—Martin Shaw, author of A Branch from the Lightning Tree: Ecstatic Myth and the Grace in Wildness, winner of the Nautilus Book Award

"One of the most moving meditations on aging, living, and dying I've ever read. These poems will befriend, comfort, and delight you. Something very magical happens as Coleman Barks overlays dreaming and waking life . . . memory and present . . . you can taste these poems while reading them."
—Naomi Shihab Nye, author of Transfer


"[Coleman Barks] wants to tell us what's on his mind: what he has seen, what he has read, what he has overheard. . . . He tells of all these things with sly good humor and the sure voice of the born raconteur and the eminent poet. . . . There is no distance here, no cynicism, no remove between Barks and his reader. No mythology. This is a conversation about anything and everything, carried on over a cup of coffee or a beer. Hummingbird Sleep is a love-letter and a meditation, laced with mortality, humility and naked wonder, well worth reading and rereading. Though Coleman Barks doesn't know me, I now know him, and I am glad to know he's my neighbor."
—John G. Nettles, Flagpole

"In this collection, [Barks] juxtaposes the ideas of the mystics Gregory of Nyssa, Rainer Maria Rilke, Rumi, and other noted philosopher-poets against such everyday images as basketball, fishing, and sitting by a creek. The result is a quiet, sometimes humorous examination of the meanings of identity, language, and perception."
UGA Research

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Description

The poems in Hummingbird Sleep move associatively between Coleman Barks's personal experience and his extensive reading, weaving together a wild and eclectic range of material. A discussion of Plotinus, Barks's appearance on PBS NewsHour, a note Keats once left on Wordsworth's mantelpiece, a splinter in the heel, and a quote from the Upanishads-all make their way into Barks's most recent poems, which achieve intimacy and expansiveness at the same time.

Page count: 128 pp.
Trim size: 6 x 9

 



Paper
List price: $19.95
978-0-8203-4504-8
3/1/2013

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978-0-8203-4575-8
3/1/2013
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Coleman Barks is the best-selling translator of The Essential Rumi The Soul of Rumi, and Rumi: The Book of Love and author of numerous volumes of poetry including Winter Sky: New and Selected Poems, 1968-2008 (Georgia). He taught creative writing and American poetry in the English Department at the University of Georgia for thirty years and currently lives in Athens, Georgia.