Rumi's Poetry

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the poetry of Rumi, the Persian scholar and Sufi mystic of the 13th Century. His great poetic works are the Masnavi or "spiritual couplets" and the Divan, a collection of thousands of lyric poems. He is closely connected with four modern countries: Afghanistan, as he was born in Balkh, from which he gains the name Balkhi; Uzbekistan from his time in Samarkand as a child; Iran as he wrote in Persian; and Turkey for his work in Konya, where he spent most of his working life and where his followers established the Mevlevi Order, also known as the Whirling Dervishes.


Alan Williams
British Academy Wolfson Research Professor at the University of Manchester

Carole Hillenbrand
Professor of Islamic History at the University of St Andrews and Professor Emerita of Edinburgh University


Lloyd Ridgeon
Reader in Islamic Studies at the University of Glasgow

Producer: Simon Tillotson.

Release date:

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Thu 11 Feb 2016 21:30

Related topics


Alan Williams at the University of Manchester

Carole Hillenbrand at the University of St Andrews

Lloyd Ridgeon at the University of Glasgow

Mawlana Rumi Review

Electronic School of Masnavi Studies

Rumi - Wikipedia



A. J. Arberry, Tales from the Masnavi (Routledge, 1993)

J. T. P. de Bruijn, Persian Sufi Poetry: An Introduction to the Mystical Use of Classical Poems (Routledge, 1997)

William C. Chittick, The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi (State University of New York Press, 1984)

Kabir Helminski Ruins of the Heart: Selected Lyric Poetry of Jelaluddin Rumi (T Threshold Books, 1981)

Franklin D. Lewis, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West: The Life, Teachings and Poetry of Jalal al-Din Rumi (Oneworld Publications, 2000)

Leonard Lewisohn (ed.), The Philosophy of Ecstasy: Rumi and the Sufi Tradition (World Wisdom Books, 2015)

R. A Nicholson, The Mathnawí of Jalálu’ddín Rumí (Luzac and Co. vols. I-VIII, 1925-1940

Annemarie Schimmel, The Triumphal Sun: A Study of the Works of Jalaloddin Rumi (first published 1980; State University of New York Press, 1993)

Lloyd Ridgeon (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Sufism (Cambridge University Press, 2014)

Rumi (trans. Alan Williams) The Masnavi (I. B. Tauris, forthcoming 2017-2020)

Rumi (trans. A. J. Arberry), Mystical Poems of Rumi (first published 1968; University of Chicago Press, 2009)

Rumi (trans. Annemarie Schimmel), Look! This is Love: Poems of Rumi (Shambhala Publications, 1991)

Rumi (trans. W.M. Thackston), Signs of the Unseen: The Discourses of Jalaluddin Rumi (Shambhala Publications, 1999)

Alan Williams, Spiritual Verses: The First Book of the Masnavi-ye Maʿnavi (Penguin Classics, 2006)

Alan Williams, The Vision of Rumi: Revealing the Masnavi, Persia's Great Masterpiece (I. B. Tauris, 2017)



Role Contributor
PresenterMelvyn Bragg
Interviewed GuestAlan Williams
Interviewed GuestCarole Hillenbrand
Interviewed GuestLloyd Ridgeon
ProducerSimon Tillotson

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