GOD ONLINE: Exploring media spirituality

Web sites, TV, films, books and the search for meaning.


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What a relief Jalaluddin Rumi is. A holy man who enjoys family and friends. And who sounds like he’s had some experience with the opposite sex.

Take this poem, one of the 70,000+ he wrote:

Come to the orchard in spring.
There is light and wine, and sweethearts
in the pomegranate flowers.
If you do not come, these do not matter.
If you do come, these do not matter.

Start with Rumi.net, a very good assortment of poems, essays and biographies. The work of Jewish-Persian poet Shahram Shiva, the site tells of Rumi’s wealthy upbringing in the eastern Persian empire — and the tragedy that may have birthed much of his poetry.

Some of the poems seem to have a double meaning:

By day I praised you
and never knew it.
By night I stayed with you
and never knew it.
I always thought that
I was me — but no,
I was you
and never knew it.

Don’t leave this site without seeing some of the poems in Flash 10. First you see the poem in Persian calligraphy. Wave your mouse pointer over it, and it morphs into a transliteration. Another wave, and it becomes a word-for-word translation. Wave #4 makes it fluent English.

You can find more Rumi poems here and here. Also check out Rumi’s masterpiece, The Masnavi. The six-book compendium holds his teachings about Sufism, the mystical Islamic sect he belonged to.

Another viewpoint on Rumi’s life is in the San Francisco Chronicle. The 2007 article suggests that studying Rumi’s forgiving nature could help ease tensions between modern Muslims and westerners.


Written by Jim Davis

December 2, 2008 at 3:28 am

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