A compendium of english translations and
versions of Jalal al-Din Rumi.
Mawlana Jalal-al-Din Muhammad Rumi (Persian: Celâleddin
Mehmed Rumi) , also known as Mawlana Jalal-ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi
but known to the English-speaking world simply as Rumi,
(September 30, 1207December 17, 1273), was a 13th century
Persian Muslim poet, jurist, and theologian. His name literally
means "Majesty of Religion", Jalal means
"majesty" and Din means "religion".
Offered as both a tribute to Rumi and the
spirit of spontaneity, you may follow this link
to random pages of his poetry found within Rumiverse.
Rumi was born in Balkh (then a city of
Greater Khorasan in Persia, now part of Afghanistan) and died in
Konya (in present-day Turkey). He wrote his poetry in Persian and
his works are widely read in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and
in translation in Turkey, Azerbaijan, the US, and South Asia.
Rumi's importance is considered to transcend national and ethnic
borders. Throughout the centuries he has had a significant
influence on Persian as well as Urdu and Turkish literatures.
His apprenticeship as a Sufi mystic was guided by the mysterious
Shams ad-Din Tabrizi (d. 1247), who was considered one of the
spiritual masters of Rumi's age. His major work is the Mathnawi,
a vast 6 vol. work of spiritual teaching and Sufi lore in the
form of stories and lyric poetry of extraordinary quality. The
Mathnawi is one of the enduring treasures of the Persian-speaking
world, known and memorized by most. It is popularly called
"the Qur'an in Persian." The singing of the Mathnawi
has become an art form in itself. Rumi also founded the
Mawlawiyya (Mevlevi) Sufi order, who use dancing and music as
part of their spiritual method, and who are known in the West as
Abdullah bin John has made this
incredible resource available to us. With multiple translations
and so many poems gathered in one place, this is a brand new
website for the friends and lovers of Rumi. 800 years
is a long time to remain alive, and Rumi is indeed so very
What I want is to see your
in a tree, in the sun coming out, in the air.
What I want is to hear the falcon-drum,
and light again on your forearm.
You say, "Tell him Im not here." The
sound of that brusque dismissal becomes
what I want.
To see in every palm your elegant silver coin-shavings,
to turn with the wheel of the rain,
to fall with the falling bread of every experience,
to swim like a huge fish in ocean water,
to be Jacob recognizing Joseph.
To be a desert mountain instead of a city.
Im tired of cowards.
I want to live with lions.
Not whining, teary people.
I want the ranting of drunkards.
I want to sing like birds sing, not worrying
who hears, or what they think.
Last night, a great teacher went
from door to door with a lamp.
"He who is not to be found is the one
Im looking for."
Beyond wanting, beyond place, inside form,
That One. A flute says, I have no hope
for finding that.
But Love plays and is the music played.
Let that musician finish this poem.
Shams, I am a waterbird flying into the sun.
Version by Coleman
"We Are Three,"
Advice doesn't help lovers!
They're not the kind of mountain stream
you can build a dam across.
An intellectual doesn't know
what the drunk is feeling!
Don't try to figure
what those lost inside love
will do next!
Someone in charge would give up all his power,
if he caught one whiff of the wine musk
from the room where the lovers
are doing who-knows-what!
One of them tries to dig a hole through a mountain.
One flees from academic honors.
One laughs at famous mustaches!
Life freezes if it doesn't get a taste
of this almond cake.
The stars come up spinning
every night, bewildered in love.
They'd grow tired
with that revolving, if they weren't.
"How long do we have to do this!"
God picks up the reed-flute world and blows.
Each note is a need coming through one of us,
a passion, a longing-pain.
Remember the lips
where the wind-breath originated,
and let your note be clear.
Don't try to end it.
Be your note.
I'll show you how it's enough.
Go up on the roof at night
in this city of the soul.
Let everyone climb on their roofs
and sing their notes!
The Essential Rumi
Version by Coleman Barks with John Moyne
Totally conscious, and apropos of nothing,
he comes to see me.
Is someone here? I ask.
The moon. The full moon is inside your house.
My friends and I go running out into the street.
I'm in here, comes a voice from the house, but we aren't
We're looking up at the sky.
My pet nightingale sobs like a drunk in the garden.
Ringdoves scatter with small cries. Where, Where.
It's midnight. The whole neighborhood is up and out in
thinking, The cat-burglar has come back.
The actual thief is there too, saying out loud,
Yes, the cat-burglar is somewhere in this crowd.
No one pays attention.
Lo, I am with you always, means when you look for God,
God is in the look of your eyes,
in the thought of looking, nearer to you than your self,
or things that have happened to you.
There's no need to go outside.
Be melting snow.
Wash yourself of yourself.
A white flower grows in the quietness.
Let your tongue become that flower.
Version by Coleman Barks
"The Essential Rumi"