My friend, Ken is one poetry addict. In one of our “talk-about-books” conversation, he mentioned Essential Rumi. But I was not paying much attention at that time, I was more interested in literature. Then last week, I came by this book at Borders. On sale for $3.99, I called Ken right that instant to confirm if I have the right book at hand. Ken just went on and on about this book on the phone, he sure is passionate about poetry. And so, I decided to purchase it not knowing what I’m getting myself into.
I started reading it a couple nights ago and I must admit that I now know what Ken was raving about. It has become an addiction reading Rumi, even skipping my 15 minute coffee breaks and lunch hour just to read more poetry. The word “manic” turned out to be an understatement, on my current venture into this Rumi fever.
At first, I thought that Rumi and Shams were gay lovers. That it was some sort of gay poetry turned historic and ended in the pages of a book. Out of my queer curiosity, I did my own researched online. And, it looks like I’m not the only one who think that. There’s a whole cruise ship full of people (gay and straight) who thought so, too. Even a website that debates this whole affair. But as a gay reader, I’d like to think that they’re queer and dwell in that inspiration. This is poetry, for heavens sake! We all have our own mind illustration, right? But the reason why I said and think that (they’re gay), was because of the words used by Rumi in portraying his feelings for Sham. Like the words, soul and heart; which (I think) does not exist in the straight guy dictionary. But I could be wrong, too!
Regardless of gender or by-standards. I really think that Essential Rumi is a wonderful read. I had this sense of reckless longing for more, no poetry has ever given me that passion to read page after page and left enlightened by it’s radiance and essence. I’ve never been this fervid, ever!
From, I Have Five Things to Say:
First, when I was apart from you,
This world did not exist, nor any other.
Second, whatever I was looking for,
Was always you.
From, Acts of Helplessness:
If you are joyful, I am.
If you grieve, or if you’re bitter, or graceful,
I take on those qualities.
Like the shadow of a cypress tree in the meadow,
Like the shadow of a rose, I live,
Close to the rose.
If I separated myself from you,
I would turn entirely thorn.
When you are with everyone but me, you’re with no one.
When you are with no one but me, you’re with everyone.
Instead of being so bound up with everyone, be everyone.
When you become that many, you’re nothing. Empty!