Recalling Rumi

Jalaladin Muhammad Balkhi, the wondrous Jalaladin Rumi was born on this day in 1207.

In 2007 he was celebrated as America’s most beloved poet. Probably was true. And if not, should have been…

A theologian and mystic he was the founder of the Mevlevi Sufi Order. But, he is best known to us as a poet of love and mystery.

A small aside. Of late Rumi’s most popular presenter in North America Coleman Barks has been dragged over the coals for not in fact knowing Persian. Similar, and I’m stretching for the right word, as there has never been anything hidden about these facts, allegations, revelations, whatever, have been made regarding Stephen Mitchell’s famous version of the Tao Te Ching. In both cases poets of some skill, apparently steeped in the tradition if not the langauges, revealing considerable insight into the traditions, have taken literal translations and given us lovely and compelling versions of their remarkable writings. In Barks case, he has generally enjoyed more gratitude for his work than criticism, even receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of Tehran. And, absolutely, those who do fall in love with Rumi (or the Tao Te Ching), should go on to more scholarly works, which will cast additional shades of a larger understanding…

However we’re introduced to him, Rumi shines through as an amazing personality, as a pointer of the way into the paths of heart.

And, definitely should be counted among the pantheon of the world’s spiritual guides…

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