Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī (Persian: جلالالدین محمد بلخى), also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (جلالالدین محمد رومی), and more popularly in the English-speaking world simply as Rumi (30 September 1207 – 17 December 1273), was a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic. Iranians, Turks, Afghans, Tajiks, and other Central Asian Muslims as well as the Muslims of South Asia have greatly appreciated his spiritual legacy in the past seven centuries. Rumi’s importance is considered to transcend national and ethnic borders. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages and transposed into various formats. In 2007, he was described as the “most popular poet in America.”
A Community of the Spirit
There is a community of the spirit.
Join it, and feel the delight
of walking in the noisy street,
and being the noise.
Drink all your passion,
and be a disgrace.
Close both eyes
to see with the other eye.
Open your hands,
if you want to be held.
Sit down in this circle.
Quit acting like a wolf, and feel
the shepherd’s love filling you.
At night, your beloved wanders.
Don’t accept consolations.
Close your mouth against food.
Taste the lover’s mouth in yours.
You moan, “She left me.” “He left me.”
Twenty more will come.
Be empty of worrying.
Think of who created thought!
Why do you stay in prison
when the door is so wide open?
Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.
Live in silence.
Flow down and down in always
widening rings of being.
There’s a strange frenzy in my head,
of birds flying,
each particle circulating on its own.
Is the one I love everywhere?
Drunks fear the police,
but the police are drunk too.
People in this town love them both
like different chess pieces.
Poem from the book The Essential Rumi: Translations by Coleman Barks