30 Aug 2007, 6:46pm
Culture Events


Happy 800th Birthday, Rumi


Today’s Washington Post extensively covered Persian poet Rumi, who’s been dead for hundreds of years but must be tickled about UNESCO’s declaration that 2007 is the International Year of Rumi.

Rumi was born in present-day Afghanistan and died in present-day Turkey, and according to Wikipedia, he wrote primarily in Persian but also penned some verses in Arabic, Turkish, and Greek. This year I’ve just attended one Rumi-oriented event: Red Hot + Rumi (see some photos here), which was a collaboration of Iranian and American artists. But be sure to check out the free International Rumi Conference at the University of Maryland in late September if you’re on the East Coast, and leave a comment if you know of any other related events happening this year.

If you haven’t read any of Rumi’s work, here’s a snippet from one (sort of racy) poem:

If anyone asks you
how the perfect satisfaction
of all our sexual wanting
will look, lift your face
and say,

Like this.

When someone mentions the gracefulness
of the nightsky, climb up on the roof
and dance and say,

Like this.

See more of his poetry here ( and thank you to Leslie for sending the link to the Washington Post article).

Related posts on Pars Arts:
- Rana Farhan
- Forough Farrokhzad

[Photo: Viking]

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One of my favorites of Rumi:

“You that come to birth and bring the mysteries…
Your Voice-Thunder makes us very happy.

Roar, Lion of the Heart,
and tear me open”

BBC has a nice piece on Rumi’s birthday as well:

Rana Farhan, Faramarz Aslani, and Farzin Farhadi perform two nights, in celebration of Rumi’s 800th birthday.
Oct. 28th in LA
Nov. 3rd in SF
(the SF show features works of calligraphy by Massoud Valipour)


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