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 Email AUDIO Greeting Card

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My Friend
Poetry by Sufi Mystic, Rumi

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Page Contents:

Poem text
Rumi Biography
Quote by Colman Barks, Rumi translator
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Illumination by
Michael Green
from The illuminated Rumi

My Friend

What was in that candle's light
that opened and consumed me so quickly?

Come back my friend. 
The form of our love
is not a created form.
Nothing can help me but that beauty.

There was a dawn
I remember when my soul.
heard something from your soul.

I drank water from your spring,
and felt the current take me. 


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This is from one of our favorite books.  If you have enjoyed and found this poem of value, we highly recommend its purchase. 

The Illuminated Rumi,
Translations and Commentary by Coleman Barks
Illuminations by Michael Green
 Broadway Books, Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc.
1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036

A little Rumi History (by Gary)

Rumi was a highly respected doctor of theology, poet and leader of his own divinity school in Konya, Turkey in the middle 1200's.  He was a member of the Sufi order.  His life (and ours) was changed by the arrival of a wondering dervish monk known as Shams of Tabriz.  The two formed a very deep spiritual relationship spending much time in solitude together.  Their sharing caused Rumi to turn from a sober teacher into an mystic poet.  Some sort of spiritual purification had apparently occurred. 

Rumi's followers became jealous of the relationship thinking that Shams was a madman and spiriting away their teacher.  Eventually Shams left because of the conflict.  Rumi became despondent without his friend  and went to great lengths to find Shams and asked him to return.

One night after Shams returned, they were talking and Shams was called to the door.  He went out and was never seen again.  It is assumed that the jealous students probably took his life.

Rumi wandered for months, desolate in disbelief that Shams was really gone.  Then one day in Damascus, he became aware there was no more reason to search.  He realized that Shams, in his absence, was actually within him.  With this revelation, Rumi began singing the spontaneous poetry that we today, find so enlightening. 

For me (Gary),  Rumi's transformation speaks to how our enlightenment expands from our sharings with each other.  But we often don't realize the importance of our sharing with our important others until it is no longer occurring. 

However, the words of Jean Huston stick in my mind.  She feels that once we have experienced a person, we have everything that person has to offer.  This would seem to be supported by Rumi's awareness. 

So much potential we carry from all our life's encounters.  What better way can we find to expand it than creating and exploring our friendships with others (and yes, like Rumi, our friendships with ourselves)

If this appears like I am rambling, I am aware of it.  Someday, perhaps I will be so enlightened as to spontaneously create with the beauty of words, creations equal to  Rumi's.  For the time being, I will quote Coleman Barks, the man who has become the premiere translator of Rumi and the creator of "The Illuminated Rumi". 

All of this poetry can be heard as Rumi's continuing conversation with Shams of Tabriz, an exploration of what it is to be together in God.  But the stories that speak of this are at a distance from that center.  The real story comes from a love source that cannot be understood with intellect, but known only as a person is known.  It is not meant to be explicated, but felt as music, as presence.

The comments of Coleman Barks, translator of Rumi poetry to be "discovered" in

The Illuminated Rumi, Translations and Commentary by Coleman Barks, Illuminations by Michael Green, Broadway Books, Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. 1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036

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