Ever wish you could take your favorite poet along with you to work? You know, have Rumi help you mix the chemicals for that lab experiment you’re working on. Or serve up a poet on a stick along with the sandwiches to your lunch customers. With Take Your Poet to Work Day just around the corner, now you can.
Take Your Poet to Work Day is coming July 17.
To help you play and celebrate with us, we’re releasing poets each week in a compact, convenient format that you can tuck in your pocket, tool belt, or lunchbox. We’ve given you Sara Teasdale, Pablo Neruda, T. S. Eliot, and the reclusive Emily Dickinson for folks who work at home. We even released a full collection, The Haiku Masters: Matsuo Basho, Yosa Buson, and Kobayashi Issa.
There’s just one more week to get your poet all dressed up and ready for work.
Take Your Poet to Work: Rumi
Click here for a downloadable version of Take Your Poet to Work – Rumi that you can print and color.
Perhaps in honor of Rumi, you could hold a short reading in the cafeteria at noon, or he and Neruda could have a poet’s duel during your coffee break.
“This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.” –Rumi
Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (known to English speakers most commonly as Rumi) was born in 1207 in what is now part of Afghanistan. Rumi later took his father’s place as a Muslim teacher, and was a follower of Shams al-Din of Tabriz, a dervish (Sufi ascetic). He is associated with the order of the Mevlevis, founded by his son. The Mevlevis, known as the whirling dervishes, are famous for their circling movements in pursuit of spiritual ecstasy.
Rumi saw poetry, music and dance as the path to god. He is known for his religious-theme poetry and prose, as well as his very popular romantic poetry. He is one of the top-selling and most popular poets in the U.S.
His poetic works have been categorized into the Quatrains, the Odes of the Divan and the Six Books of the Masnavi. His major works include Maṭnawīye Ma’nawī (Spiritual Couplets) and Dīwān-e Kabīr (Great Work).
Rumi fell ill and died in 1273. His epitaph reads, “When we are dead, seek not our tomb in the earth, but find it in the hearts of men.”
Enjoy some Rumi poems to get the duel started:
A Moment Of Happiness
A moment of happiness,
you and I sitting on the verandah,
apparently two, but one in soul, you and I.
We feel the flowing water of life here,
you and I, with the garden’s beauty
and the birds singing.
The stars will be watching us,
and we will show them
what it is to be a thin crescent moon.
You and I unselfed, will be together,
indifferent to idle speculation, you and I.
The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar
as we laugh together, you and I.
In one form upon this earth,
and in another form in a timeless sweet land.
This we Have Now
This we have now
is not imagination.
This is not
grief or joy.
Not a judging state,
or an elation,
Those come and go.
This is the presence that doesn’t.
Post and illustrations by Lyla Willingham Lindquist.