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Reconciling Religion: Bulleh Shah, Ralph Waldo Emerson and the American Transcendentalist Tradition

Reconciling Religion: Bulleh Shah, Ralph Waldo Emerson and the American Transcendentalist Tradition

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Published by unher
Much has been written regarding the influence of Persian and other Islamic poets on the literature and thought of Ralph Waldo Emerson. It has been revealed in much of his work that a strong line ran from Sufi poets such as Rumi and Hafiz through Emerson’s own corpus of essays, prose and poetry. In fact, it is now apparent that Emerson was the first so-called Western author to have incorporated—indeed, to have been immensely influenced by—those and other ‘seers and sayers’ of the East.
Now, in hindsight of over a century and a half of reflecting on Emerson’s work, it will be interesting to consider the poetry and beliefs of Bulleh Shah, a Sufi poet who, though unaffiliated with Emerson’s work per se, presents an indirect illumination of the universal tolerance and values of American Transcendentalism.
Much has been written regarding the influence of Persian and other Islamic poets on the literature and thought of Ralph Waldo Emerson. It has been revealed in much of his work that a strong line ran from Sufi poets such as Rumi and Hafiz through Emerson’s own corpus of essays, prose and poetry. In fact, it is now apparent that Emerson was the first so-called Western author to have incorporated—indeed, to have been immensely influenced by—those and other ‘seers and sayers’ of the East.
Now, in hindsight of over a century and a half of reflecting on Emerson’s work, it will be interesting to consider the poetry and beliefs of Bulleh Shah, a Sufi poet who, though unaffiliated with Emerson’s work per se, presents an indirect illumination of the universal tolerance and values of American Transcendentalism.

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Published by: unher on Jan 21, 2010
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12/07/2012

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