Friday, May 18, 2007

Rasoul Sorkhabi talks about Rumi

Master Rumi
Eight hundred years ago, in a northeastern town of the Persian kingdom, a boy was born. When he was twelve years old, he chanced to meet the great Sufi master and Persian poet Attar, who told the boy’s father: “The fiery words of this boy will kindle the souls of lovers all over the world.”

That boy was later to be known as Rumi. And this year, 2007, many literary, cultural and spiritual organizations are celebrating his 800th birth anniversary. UNESCO has issued a medal in Rumi’s honor. According to various sources, including The Christian Science Monitor (1), TIME Asia magazine (2), and the US Department of State’s Washington File (3), Rumi has become the most widely-read poet in North America, and translations of this Asian poet are increasingly popular in the other Western countries. For three decades, I have been reading Rumi everywhere I have been — India, Japan, and the USA. It is thus a personal delight to see the growing popularity of Rumi’s poetry.