Rumi’s greatest love

rumiakhtarkhavarileeloveismysavior

Today’s a day to celebrate all kinds of love, and here are some poems for it that you’ve probably never seen. Rumi’s Persian work is very well known and loved in the English-speaking world, but he also wrote in Arabic. As a mystic Sufi, he is much less known in the Arabic-speaking and Sunni world, and mostly in translations via English.  Love is my Savior: The Arabic Poems of Rumi, bridges this gap, bringing together some of Rumi’s Arabic poems with their first-ever English translations.

The poet (Lee) and the Arabic translator (Akhtarkhavari) made a deliberate decision to rhyme in English too, which meant they also went for iambic pentameter. It’s harder to rhyme in English than in Arabic, and this sometimes could feel a little forced. But mostly,

Rumi’s love for God, and for his lost teacher and friend (and lover?) Shams e-Tabrizi, all come together here. The spiritual and the (homo)erotic are intertwined – the one leads to the other. Being together is intoxicating, and as close to heaven as it gets:

rumiakhtarkhavarilee-yousangoflove

Rumi is writing in the thirteenth century, but his response to separation from his beloved is utterly relatable 800 years on – and almost tweetably compact:

rumiakhtarkhavarilee-thiseye

Being together is, quite simply, home.

rumiakhtarkhavarilee-comeintomyhouse

Rumi welcomes everyone to “join the feast”: you can get the book from Michigan State University Press. If you’re stuck for a last-minute gift, you can beam it to an e-reader right now… Happy Valentine’s Day – or Friend’s Day, as it is in Finland.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in books, faith, poetry, translation
2 comments on “Rumi’s greatest love
  1. […] The author, Attar, was a 12th century Persian mystic who inspired the great Rumi. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

advent Alice in Wonderland American And Other Stories Antonia Lloyd-Jones Arabic Argentina Barańczak Beowulf Best Translated Book Award Bible books Brazil Brazilian Portuguese British British Library Buddhism Central Europe Children's Books Children's literature Chinese Christmas Christmas Carols Clare Cavanagh Clarice Lispector Contemporary Czesław Miłosz Dari Edinburgh Festival English Estonian Facebook Fantasy Farsi Fiction Finland Finland 100 Finnish Flemish Free Word Centre French friends gender George Szirtes German Greek Hebrew Herbert Lomas Herta Müller history Hobbit Hungarian Idioms Illustration international International Translation Day Italian J. R. R. Tolkien Japanese Jenny Erpenbeck Jewish Johanna Sinisalo Korean Language language learning Languages Latin left-handed Literature Lola Rogers Lord of the Rings Mabinogion Man Booker International Prize Maori Maria Turtschaninoff Mirkka Rekola Moomins New Year Nobel Prize Old English Oxford English Dictionary PEN Translation Prize Persian Philip Boehm Phoneme Media Pippi Longstocking Poetry Poetry Translation Centre Polish Portuguese pubilc libraries Queer Roald Dahl Romanian Rosa Liksom Russian Ryszard Kapuściński Salla Simukka Seamus Heaney Shakespeare Short Stories Slovene Spanish Stanisław Barańczak Susan Bernofsky Svetlana Alexievich Swedish Switzerland Terhi Ekebom Thomas Teal Tibetan Tove Jansson Translation translator Translators Without Borders Turkey Valentine's Day Wales Warsaw Welsh Wisława Szymborska Witold Szabłowski Women in Translation Month words Words without Borders

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow found in translation on WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: