Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Part 2: 100 Ways to Kneel & Kiss the Ground

You may wonder, how did I, a North American gal get into Rumi? How did I hear about him?

Years ago, I met a former refugee who was a survivor of torture from the middle East. He was a lover of Rumi's poetry. It was he who organized "Rumi Night" on several occasions. It was always an evening event with recitation/reading of Rumi poetry with background music, sometimes with whirling dervishes dancing their divine dances of love and devotion.

I came to really enjoy and appreciate Rumi's poetry, not because I used to write inspired poetry (though haven't much lately), but I find his poetry so sensual. It is a feast to my ears, my heart, my soul. It pierces through unwanted emotions transforming and transmuting them into peace and love, similar to what I feel when I chant in Sanskrit.

In fact, at a community dance once, I felt strongly compelled to ask an acquaintance if I could recite/read some Rumi poetry at an upcoming evening. I was delighted when he replied that he would see what he could do, or did he say 'Yes!'?

Regardless, I was ecstatic yet humbled to be considered to take on such an honourable role. I took it quite seriously as I mentored with an older woman, Ruth Raziel, well known in the community for her readings of Rumi poetry.

My initial impulse was to read them passionately as I felt they "should be" expressed; however, it was suggested that I read them as if I was savouring the words like food on my tongue. (I don't know if she actually said that, but something along that line.)

This inspired me to write my interpretation of Rumi’s poetry:
close your eyes
with ears wide
heart open
ready to burst
in flame
to the sounds of love –
fluid words
like soft feathers
or luscious chocolate
melting slowly in your mouth
such exquisite sweetness
and delight
I love that poem, my poem, my inspired poem that tickled me pink. Do you think the poem describes an experience of Rumi poetry? (Not that your opinion matters though. I'm just curious!)

I still have the post-it notes marking some of my favourite poems and passages of The Essential Rumi (with a very similar cover featured yesterday on my blog post), such as:
Birdsong brings relief
to my longing.
I am just as ecstatic as they are,
but with nothing to say!
Please, universal soul, practice
some song, or something, through me!
I actually cried when I opened reciting my favourite Rumi poem, "I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think” The words moved me deeply, touching me sincerely because of my heart's longing to sing freely, with wild abandon, and most of all, to start my inspired alternative youth choir.

If you wish to hear an inspirational and beautiful CD, check out a gift of love cd (pictured above). As you can see from the cover, it features a lot of actors.

Jared Harris, an English actor is one featured on the cd. Here is a short video clip with his voice and scenes from the film, Koyaanisqatsi; check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koyaanisqatsi for details if you are interested.

Does poetry move you? Would you be willing to allow it, listening to it with an open heart? And what happens if and when you do? You might just enjoy the experience. ;)


  1. For those of you in Canada/the States, not sure about elsewhere, you can order from Banyen Books which carries books and cd's on Rumi poetry, including the one I mention above (www.banyen.com).

  2. You're so good with poetry yourself! Loved your poem...it made me crave for chocolate though ;)