Jalal al-Din Rumi

JALAL AL-DIN RUMI (1207–1273, Anatolia, now Turkey). The poet, scholar, and Sufi mystic known to Persians as “Mawlana” and to Westerners as “Rumi,” is one of the best-loved poets in Persian and world literary history. Born in Balkh, now on the Afghan/ Tajik border, he spent most of his life in the Sultanate of Rum (now Turkey) and founded the Mevlevi Order of whirling dervishes. Now the best-selling poet in the United States, Rumi’s work has become popular partially through the efforts of the translator Coleman Barks, whose work employs a uniquely contemporary idiom.