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Songs without Names
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Songs without Names: Poems by Frithjof Schuon Volumes VII-XII
Songs without Names: Poems by Frithjof Schuon Volumes VII-XII
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Author(s): 
Subjects(s): 
Inspirational
Metaphysics
Poetry

Price:  $22.00

ISBN:  1-933316-24-1
Book Size:  6x9
# of Pages:  312
Language:  English



Description

During the last three years of his life Frithjof Schuon wrote approximately 3,500 poems in his mother tongue German. These poems express every conceivable subtlety of spiritual and moral counsel, and the same sharpness of intellect, profundity, comprehensiveness, and compassion which one finds in Schuon’s other writings. These four volumes, available for the first time in English, represent a substantial portion of Schuon’s poetical work, and will prove irresistible to anyone interested in the poetical expression of the inner spiritual life.

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Detailed Description of Songs without Names

During the last three years of his life Frithjof Schuon wrote approximately 3,500 poems in his mother tongue German. These poems express every conceivable subtlety of spiritual and moral counsel, and the same sharpness of intellect, profundity, comprehensiveness, and compassion which one finds in Schuon’s other writings. These four volumes, available for the first time in English, represent a substantial portion of Schuon’s poetical work, and will prove irresistible to anyone interested in the poetical expression of the inner spiritual life.


About the Author(s)

William Stoddart

William Stoddart is a perennialist author, editor, and translator who has been active in advancing the understanding of the writings of Frithjof Schuon, Titus Burckhardt, and others, for many years. Dr. Stoddart's most recent publication with World Wisdom are An Illustrated Outline of Buddhism: The Essentials of Buddhist Spirituality, What Does Islam Mean in Today’s World?, and Outline of Sufism: The Essentials of Islamic Spirituality. A compilation of his writings, Remembering in a World of Forgetting, was edited by M. Soares de Azevedo and A. Vasconcellos Queiroz. Stoddart also edited The Essential Titus Burckhardt, and is perhaps the greatest authority on the work of this great Swiss traditionalist. Dr. Stoddart's other contributions in World Wisdom books include:
 

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Annemarie Schimmel

Annemarie Schimmel (1922-2003) was one of the leading experts on Islamic literature and mysticism (Sufism) in the world. She wrote more than 80 books and essays, and lectured at universities and conferences around the world. Professor Schimmel translated and conducted research in the major Islamic languages of Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and Turkish. Her book Mystical Dimensions of Islam (1975) is considered a classic in its field.

Professor Annemarie Schimmel wrote several pieces that have appeared in World Wisdom books:

  • The "Foreword" in Understanding Islam, a classic book by Frithjof Schuon
  • The "Foreword" in Frithjof Schuon's books of poetry

Click here to go to Prof. Annemarie Schimmel's writing on Frithjof Schuon's poetry.


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Frithjof Schuon

Frithjof Schuon (1907-1998) is best known as the foremost spokesman of the “Traditionalist” or “Perennialist” school and as a philosopher in the metaphysical current of Shankara and Plato. He wrote more than two dozen books on metaphysical, spiritual, artistic, and ethnic themes and was a regular contributor to journals on comparative religion in both Europe and America. Schuon’s writings have been consistently featured and reviewed in a wide range of scholarly and philosophical publications around the world, respected by both scholars and spiritual authorities. Besides his prose writings, Schuon was also a prolific poet (see a listing of Schuon's poetry books) and a gifted painter of images that always portrayed the beauty and power of the divine, and the nobility and virtue of primordial humanity.

World Wisdom features a series titled "The Writings of Frithjof Schuon", which includes many new editions of classic books by Schuon in new translations and with additional materials. Our online Library contains many articles and poems written by Frithjof Schuon, allowing readers to see a representative sample of his remarkable body of work.

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Reviews of Songs without Names

“The beauty of Schuon’s poetry touches upon that luminous center where the way of knowledge and the path of love converge.”
Patrick Laude, Georgetown University and author of Singing the Way: Insights in Poetry and Spiritual Transformation.

“Mystical experience almost inevitably leads to poetry. The great mystics all over the world used the language of poetry when trying to beckon to a mystery that lies beyond normal human experience, and the most glorious works in Eastern and Western religions are the hymns of the mystics, be they Sufis or Christians, Hindus or Zen monks.… We are not surprised that Frithjof Schuon too felt compelled to write poetry.… Here we listen to the thinker who, far from the intricate and complex scholarly sentences of his learned prose works, sings the simple prayers of the longing soul.… These tender lyrics … show the famous thinker in a very different light and from an unexpected side.”
Annemarie Schimmel, Professor Emeritus, Harvard University

“Each of these poems is a true compass pointing the reader to Schuon’s fundamental theme: the Remembrance of God. The reader may carry this book for a lifetime and not exhaust its content because its content is the inexhaustibly beautiful life of the Spirit.”
Barry McDonald, poet and editor of Seeing God Everywhere: Essays on Nature and the Sacred

“‘These words are the ladder to Heaven: whosoever climbs it comes to the
Roof.’ This appreciation, said originally about Rumi’s Mathnawi, applies equally to the poetical works of Frithjof Schuon (indeed, to his entire body of work), in which Schuon offers his readers many tastes of the varied and far-ranging spiritual insights drawn from the ocean of his wisdom and being.”
Mahmoud Bina, Isfahan University of Technology

“The exquisite ‘essences’ that are the poetry of Frithjof Schuon bring about in me an almost instantaneous eruption of music. His sacred loves and longings, with his unique comprehension of Eternal Woman, produce a visionary challenge to an exhausted masculine culture.”
Sir John Tavener, author and composer

“What does a sage think about on a daily basis? If one has ever wondered what the content of a sage’s consciousness might be, these poems give the reader a unique insight into such a soul. What strikes us as we peruse poem after poem is the perfect simplicity of soul of a sage, a simplicity that we discover is synonymous with perfect objectivity and perfect sincerity. The reader mindful of the sacred weight of words and thirsting for knowledge of the Real, will find here food for endless hours of meditative thought and beauty to melt the heart.”
Mark Perry, author of On Awakening and Remembering

“These poems by Frithjof Schuon, although considered didactic by their author, do not simply repeat the content of his many metaphysical books. Their language is more simple and direct and they transmit to the reader a ‘being’ and ‘spiritual presence’ which are quite powerful, and resonate through these excellent translations from the original German. They also add many more insights and nuances on the writer’s thinking and life which were not present in the previous books.”
Jean-Pierre Lafouge, Marquette University


Excerpts from Songs without Names

"It seems that mystical experience almost inevitably leads to poetry. The great mystics all over the world used the language of poetry when trying to beckon to a mystery that lies beyond normal human experience, and the most glorious works in Eastern and Western religions are the hymns of the mystics, be they Sufis or Christians, Hindus or Zen monks. Different as their expressions are, one feels that the poetical word can more easily lead to the mystery that is hidden behind the veils of intellectual knowledge and which cannot be fettered in logical speech."

from the foreword by Annemarie Schimmel



Some of the poems are autobiographical, with reminiscences of places experienced: Basle and Paris, the fairy-tale streets of old German towns, Morocco and Andalusia, Turkey and Greece, the American West. Others evoke the genius of certain peoples, such as the Hindus, the Japanese, the Arabs, the Red Indians, and also the Cossacks and the Gypsies. Yet other poems elucidate the role of music, dance, and poetry itself. In one or two poems, the godless modern world comes in for biting, and sometimes fiercely humorous, comment:

“The Celebration”

A worldly banquet: chandeliers glitter
In the large hall —
And brilliant society, ladies and gentlemen
Sit down for the meal.
They talk of everything and they talk of nothing —
The wine is red,
And so are the flowers.
But no one, no one
Thinks of death.

From the introduction by William Stoddart




Other poems included in this volume:

God-remembrance must change man,
For the purpose of a lamp is to give light;
If our soul is not improved,
Then reciting pious formulas is of no avail.
Renounce false greatness — become small
And selfless, and thou wilt be in Heaven.
(Songs without Names IV-II)


Love is not mere sentimental play,
It is also the wish to benefit the other soul;
Whoever truly and selflessly loves someone,
Will protect that person’s God-consecrated heart.
Taking and giving: during life —
But with a view to immortality.
(Songs without Names I--VI)





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Selections from Songs without Names Vol. VIISongs without Names: Poems by Frithjof Schuon Volumes VII-XIISchuon, Frithjof Poetry
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