Rumi Is Now (by Sharda Brody)

Rumi Is Now (by Sharda Brody)

Sharda BrodyRumi Is Now (February 11, 2007)

» Sharda tells her story (mp3, 1:19)

I am a musician and private music instructor, and Rumi's voice has been with me since 1968, when my husband and I bought the book Rumi, Poet, and Mystic by Reynold A. Nicholson. When I opened the book for the first time, it fell open to "The Song of the Reed" and, as I read, I seemed to hear an echo of melody from just beyond physical hearing. By 4 a.m. the next morning, Rumi's words were set to a simple melody with guitar accompaniment. This was the first of several poems that were set to music from that book and sung at many American Sufi gatherings lead by Pir Vilayat Khan in the 1970s. Though I rarely sing the songs in public anymore, Rumi's poetry has remained my spiritual friend and inspiration throughout my life. Nicholson's book is still with me, now quite battered; but lately joined by Coleman Barks' The Essential Rumi. Between these two translations I have held many deep conversations. To me, Rumi isn't just a poet of the 13th century. He is my friend, and he is now. Sharda Brody Paris, TX (KETR, 88.9 FM)

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Keshavarz is professor of Persian & Comparative Literature at Washington University in St. Louis, and the author of several books, including Reading Mystical Lyric: The Case of Jalal aI-Din Rumi.