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The bestselling poet in America today, thirteenth-century Sufi mystic Jalalu'ddin Rumi has inspired and enlightened thousands with his playful, passionate work celebrating the sacred in everyday life. Now the spiritual wealth of Rumi's stories and poetry in translation are accompanied by rare and wonderful art in the Sufi tradition. This fresh rendering brings new life to these incomparable parables, which have transcended time, place, culture, and religion to speak directly to the hearts and souls of contemporary readers. With a foreword by Huston Smith, these selections of the inimitable mystic's prose and poetry have been taken from all of the master's works. Each parable, such as The King and the Handmaiden, The Grocer and the Parrot, The Ugly Old Woman, and The Man Who Was Always Being Swindled, is related as Rumi might have presented it to his fascinated audiences, as he whirled in meditation and trance. But each story also has a spiritual message, a holy essence that applies across all faiths, uttered from the heart of Islam. Each of these messages is provided here in a modern rendering that keeps the flavor of this unique period of history, of culture, and of inspired, passionate beauty.