Barks recalls that "in June of 1976, Robert Bly gave me a writing assignment: He handed me a copy of A.J. Arberry's translations of Rumi's poems and he said, 'These poems need to be released from their cages' That 'releasing' has taken the form of several books: The Essential Rumi
, Unseen Rain
, Like This
, The Big Red Book
, and others. So those poems found a new freedom, a new sky to move in. Now this new 'Sky' for some Rumi poems. Rumi was a great master of the short poem. We should let our souls learn new ways of gliding and soaring in his exalted sky. Thank you, Robert." What makes this collection of Rumi poems by Coleman Barks special and different from his previous volumes is its personal touch. Included are his own reflections on a selection of these poems. His explanation of how the title was chosen and the gratitude he expresses to all who have inspired him is touching.