5 Thought-Provoking Reasons Why Rumi is the Best Selling Poet in America
Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.
You may have come across Rumi’s quotes like the one above.
If you enjoy poetry you might have even read some of his poems.
Rumi was a 13th Century poet who lived in different parts of the Persian Empire which included present day Afghanistan, Iran & Turkey. He was a mystic, a philosopher and top Islamic Scholar of his time.
But he’s most popularly known for his timeless Poetry that sprang from his yearning for the Divine.
What is astonishing is that he’s the best selling poet in America. Even outselling giants of English literature like Shakespeare.
How is it that the works of a 13th Century Persian Poet becomes one of the most widely read in the Western world?
What is it about Rumi, that makes him so popular?
While working on our upcoming book Sufi Comics Rumi, we researched more about this great mystic.
This led us to these 5 reasons why Rumi is so popular.
Here they are:
1. His poems spoke to all
“When someone beats a rug,
the blows are not against the rug,
but against the dust in it.”
Rumi uses common objects in his poetry to convey his message.
An elephant, an artist, pearls, shepherds, dragons, housewives and chickpeas.
These were the objects in Rumi’s poems. And because they’re so familiar to everyone, his poems spoke to all levels.
In a way he speaks about all kinds of things to all kinds of people.
2. He used poetry to convey his message
“You are more precious than both heaven and earth:
You know not your own worth
Sell not yourself at little price,
Being so precious in God’s eyes.”
The genius of Rumi was his ability to express profound ideas in simple poetic rhymes. To appreciate the rhythm of the poetry one needs to hear it the original Farsi.
But even an English translation like the one above will give a hint into the beauty of the original.
3. His message was Universal
“I looked in temples, churches and mosques. But I found the Divine within my heart.”
Rumi was not just a practicing Muslim. He was a top Islamic Scholar, a jurist & theologian of his time. He said:
“As long as I live, I am the slave of the Quran I am the dust of the path of Muhammad.”
But despite being firm on the path of his faith, the message in his poems was so universal that people of other faiths could relate to what he was saying.
Rumi had the ability to stay grounded in his faith, but at the same time appreciate & express Godly values that are upheld by people from all backgrounds.
4. He invites the reader to the Sacred
“You think of yourself
as a citizen of the universe.
You think you belong
to this world of dust and matter.
Out of this dust
you have created a personal image,
and have forgotten
about the essence of your true origin.”
We live in a world that tries to confine or destroy everything that is sacred, including the environment that we live in.
The human soul yearns for the sacred. The poems of Rumi are an invitation to the Sacred & fills in the void that is missing.
5. All about Inner Transformation
“Yesterday I was clever, and I wanted to change the world
Today I am wise, and I want to change myself.”
The underlying theme of all of Rumi’s Poems is about inner transformation of the individual. Spiritual seekers from all walks of life have something to gain from Rumi’s poems.