BINGHAMTON, N.Y., Nov. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Martin Bidney, Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at Binghamton University, has released his twenty-seventh book of poetry, titled "Sufi Lyrics in the Egyptian Desert: Ninety Poems in Modified Omar Quatrain Form" (Dialogic Poetry Press: 2019).
In 2011, Bidney spent a month in Egypt at Sekem, coaching the school's English teachers in writing and conversation, while conducting his own spiritual pilgrimage. Writing 3 poems a day in the 30 days of his sojourn at Sekem, he recorded his mental journeying in lyrics. The springboard for the elegant set of four quatrains he selected as the form for each poem was the stanza used by Edward FitzGerald in translating the Sufi-oriented Rubāiyāt of Omar Khāyyām, a world-acknowledged masterpiece.
Bidney practices the religion of love in the unique form he chooses for most of his books, the word "unique" being used here quite precisely to indicate that his method is "one of a kind." He translates a poem, keeping the rhythm structures and stanza form and rhyme patterning of the work, and then he "replies" to it using the form the mentor-poet has just taught him.
"The insights I've found most valuable in my writings often reveal a strong kinship to those great Sufi thinkers about whom I've since written individual books," Bidney said. "Every myth, religion, metaphor, likeness, emblem, simile, or parable is a glass lending shape and color to the water of spirit," he added.
The wonderfully rich "Introduction" in his latest book offers additional poems from Bidney's other books to clarify the stages in his pilgrimage. These poems dramatically present for the reader the chief insights he owes to Ibn Arabi, Rumi, Hafiz, Nasreddin Hodja, and Rabi'a, further clarified in Bidney's recent podcast episode of The Be-Loving Imaginer.
Bidney wants always to be the student who enters into the world of the mentor whom he carefully selected both for depth of wisdom and mastery of lyrical craft. Every four-liner in the 90 poems of "Sufi Lyrics in the Egyptian Desert" is so melodious you will probably want to start singing.
The book is available on Amazon in paperback. A free download of the Kindle edition is available from November 18-22, 2019. For more information visit: martinbidney.org
Roger L. Brooks
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