A Tajik university has held a conference on Rumi and Goethe to compare views of the two poets on the interaction between the East and the West.
Titled "Dialogue among Cultures", the international event was held at Khujand State University, south of Tajikistan on Wednesday and Thursday.
A number of scholars and intellectuals from Iran, Germany, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Tajikistan attended the ceremony which was held to mark the 800th anniversary of Rumi's birth.
The Secretariat of the conference said a total of 110 articles, reports and research papers on the linguistic, literary and societal dimensions of Rumi and Goethe were submitted to the event. The participating countries also decided to host similar events as part of an initiative to boost cultural ties.
Jalal ad-Din Mohammad Balkhi, known in the West as Rumi, was born in 1207. His major works are "Mathnavi" and "Divan-e Shams". UNESCO has named 2007 as the year of Rumi. Numerous conferences and literary forums have been held all over the world to celebrate the poet known as "the poet of nations".
Persian literature has influenced many writers and cultures outside its boundaries. One of the best examples is Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a German poet, dramatist, novelist, theorist, humanist, scientist and painter whose most enduring work is "West-Ostlicher Divan" (The West-Eastern Divan).
The West-Eastern Divan, and Goethe's collection of poetry in general, gradually came to function as a leading model for religious and literary syntheses between the west and the east.
Goethe has put enchanting and voluptuous customs into poetry, and his verses are so perfect, so harmonious, so tasteful, so soft, that it seems really surprising that he should ever have been able to have brought the German language to this state of suppleness.
Spirit let us bridegroom call,
and the word the bride;
known this wedding is to all
who have Hafis tried.
Hafis, straight to equal thee,
one would strive in vain;
though a ship with majesty
cleaves the foaming main,
feels its sails swell haughtily
as it onward hies
crush'd by ocean's stern decree,
wrecked it straightway lies.
Tow'rd thee, songs, light, graceful, free,
mount with cooling gush;
then their glow consumeth me,
as like fire they rush.
Yet a thought with ecstasy
hath my courage moved;
in the land of melody
I have lived and loved.