Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī, more popularly known simply as Rumi, was born on this day in 1207 in present-day Afghanistan. He later died on December 17, 1273 in present-day Turkey. He was a 13th-century Persian poet and Sufi Mystic. Rumi’s influence transcends national borders and ethnic divisions. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages and he has been described as the “most popular poet” and the “best selling poet” in the United States. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumi)
Rumi was a firm believer in the use of music, poetry, and dance as a means of approaching God. His poetry is divided into common themes: mystical, passion, and life and death. Madonna and Philip Glass are among his many admirers: Madonna recorded readings of Rumi’s poetry, and Glass’s “Monsters of Grace” is based on Rumi’s art. (See https://nationaltoday.com/rumi-day/)
Rumi’s poetry speaks of love which infuses the world. Rumi’s longing and desire to attain the ideal of Love is evident in this excerpt from his book the Masnavi:
“I died to the mineral state and became a plant.
I died to the vegetal state and reached animality.
I died to the animal state and became a man,
Then what should I fear? I have never become less from dying.”
(See Ibrahim Gamard (with gratitude for R.A. Nicholson’s 1930 British translation). The Mathnawî-yé Ma’nawî – Rhymed Couplets of Deep Spiritual Meaning of Jalaluddin Rumi.)
My humble haiku response: Rumi Day
overwhelmed by love
devastated by love’s loss
love seeks love always