During his lifetime, the mystic scholar Jelaluddin Rumi created 65,000 verses, gaining renown as Persia's greatest poet, but never once did he become consumed by fame. Instead, he compares himself to an ant in a wheat harvest carrying a load bigger than himself. The lover of diversity in Rumi refuses to get caught up in this or that -- he prefers practicing aspiration instead.
In a poignant phrase, the poet calls himself "a mystic in motion" who advises himself: "If you want to find yourself / leave yourself alone." He wins our attention as he frolics with the moon instead of sleeping. We are admonished to follow "the fiddle's surround sound," and we ought to take great joy in being "the secret treasures of God."
Nadir Khalili (1936-2008), a world-renowned Iranian-American architect, author, humanitarian and teacher, was raised on the verses of Rumi. He later developed a passion for studying and translating Rumi's works, which even influenced his architecture, described as "poetry crystallized into structure."
This beautifully designed book contains 120 poems. You can also enjoy its companion volume of Khalili translations, The Love Poems of Rumi.