A 13th-century Persian poet, faqih, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic.
Rumi is best known for his poems expressing the ecstasies and mysteries of love of all kinds - erotic, divine, friendship -and Coleman Barks collects here the best of those poems, ranging from the ′wholeness′ one experiences with a true lover, to the grief of a lover′s loss, and all the states in between: from the madness of sudden love to the shifting of a romance to deep friendship - these poems cover all ′the magnificent regions of the heart.
Rumi's poems offer a look at Iranian culture that we rarely see. What is important to remember is that Rumi was a poet, a spiritualist, a sufi and a devout and well-schooled Sunni Muslim. He was never divorced from his religion and we do him a disservice when we try to pretend that his spiritual quest is different from the formal teachings of his religion. His is a message of Love; his poems are a gift to all, no matter whether we embrace a formal religion or not.
One may read Rumi's poems as one's yearning to return to the divine or simply interpret it as the heart's yearning for one's true love. It's moving, simple, spiritual but not dogmatic and heartfelt imagery. I enjoy reading different interpretations of Rumi's work because his Sufi philosophy must be understood by the translator and from that personal understanding one translate them into various languages. As such we too as the readers can understand the poem and translate it into our hearts.