Tuesday, March 27, 2007
The Library of the U.S. Congress held a ceremony to mark the 800th birth anniversary of the prominent Persian poet Rumi early this week. Organized by Kog Holding, the largest Turkish company, the ceremony was attended by a number of American and Turkish literary and political figures.
Tal'at Halman, Chairman of the Department of Turkish Literature at Bilkent University in Ankara, addressed the gathering on the life and poetry of the poet who is known as "the poet of nations."
Jalal ad-Din Mohammad Balkhi known in the West as Rumi was born on September 30, 1207. Rumi's major work is Mathnavi, a six-volume poem considered by many to be one of the greatest works of both Sufism and Persian literature.
Rumi's other masterpiece is the "Divan-e Shams", named in the honor of Rumi's great friend and inspiration, the dervish Shams, comprising some 40,000 verses.