I don’t do poetry much in World Lit, but when I do, I think it’s worth it! As a first step into this unit, I’m excited for you to get exposed to Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rumi, the incredible classical Middle-Eastern poet who has withstood the test of time in rare form. Perhaps you’ll soon discover why a 13th Century Persian is currently the best-selling poet in the US!
Like your posts on East Asian poetry, this post will involve both poetry analysis and poetry writing.
(Part 1) First, I’d like you to choose a poem from one of the many found in the ebooks linked below. Since he’s well-known for writing both love poems and “mystical” poems, I’ve tried to provide you a nice range of options. Once you choose a poem that you find interesting, write 1-2 paragraphs of analysis, discussing and interpreting the prominent literary devices and overall themes of the poem. Pay particularly close attention to figurative language; Rumi’s poetry is full of innovative linguistic techniques.
- PDF book of mystical poems by Rumi
- Other mystical poems
- PDF book of love poems by Rumi
- Other love poems
(Part 2) After you analyze your chosen poem, I’d like you to write an original poem that draws some inspiration from the poem that you analyzed. For example, your poem could perhaps be written as a response to Rumi’s, or it could mimic some of his style or themes. Additionally, write a brief paragraph of introduction to your original poem, explaining how Rumi’s poem inspired your own.
As is typical with assignments like this, I’ll mostly be grading on evidence of effort and creativity I see!