The love poems by the great thirteenth-century Persian poet, Jelaluddin Rumi, founder of the Whirling Dervishes of Sufism, are both mystical and a mystery. Are they addressed to his mentor, the wandering Shams of Tabriz (who converted him to a life of joy when he was thirty-eight), or to God, or to a lover?
Reflecting the complexities and paradoxes of love and devotion – separation, cruelty, and break-up – they are poems of great power and emotional intensity, of exuberant passion and overflowing imagination.
Though seemingly addressed to a lover, in their imagery they encompass the universe and are metaphors of love in its physical form, reinforced by amazing rhythms, which echo the dance of the whirling dervishes.
Lassaậd Metoui, the renowned Arabic calligrapher, has beautifully captured the atmosphere and movement of the poems in this collection.
Rumi, the great poet of Sufism, is the world’s bestselling poet. Born in Persia in 1211 he composed thousands of poems that have continued to be chanted on pilgrimages and during religious ceremonies since. Celebrated as a mystic he founded the order of Whirling Dervishes of Sufism, which spread throughout the Islamic world after his death.
Paperback, 96pp, 2016