The Poetry Concierge Recommends: Rumi

[The Poetry Concierge is an occasional feature here on Rosemary and Reading Glasses wherein I select a poem, poet, or book of poems for individual readers based on a short questionnaire. Come play along! Read the introductory post here, my first recommendation here, and then email me at: rosemaryandreadingglasses [at] gmail [dot] com. ]

This week, our pilgrim in search of poetry is Mark, a friend of some friends, who doesn’t blog.


1. When you read fiction, who’s your go-to author?

E.L. Doctorow, Philip Roth, Isaac Beshevis Singer, Doris Lessing. But I haven’t read much fiction in a long time. If I had the time I’d like to start again.

2. If you read nonfiction, which subjects are most likely to interest you?

I mostly read non-fiction. Buddhist Writings, Vedic Writings, exposes like The Shock Doctrine, Memoirs, Psychology, Myths, Physics/Spirituality

3. If you were stuck on a desert island for a week, which five books would you bring to keep you entertained?

Portnoy’s Complaint, The Sportswriter, Women Who Run With the Wolves, The Beatles, The Dharma Bums.

4. If you were on a five-year mission to Mars, which five books would you bring to keep you sane?

The Science of Yoga (Taimni), a recommended Walt Whitman book, Women Who Run With Wolves, BioCentrism by Robert Lanza, a collection of Isaac Bashevis Singer short stories.

5. What kinds of questions are most likely to keep you up at night?

The meaning of life and how to write my memoirs.

6. If you’ve read poetry before, what have you liked? What have you disliked?

Never really read much poetry. Though I’d like to figure it out someday.

photo (79)Given Mark’s interest in spirituality, myths, and mysticism, I’m recommending the poetry of Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, or, as he’s know in the English-speaking world, Rumi.

Rumi was a poet, theologian, and Sufi mystic who lived in the thirteenth century; his work is immensely popular and there are many, many editions of his poems available. I’ve been happy with the one I bought in high school, Rumi: In the Arms of the Beloved, translated by Jonathan Star. The translations are clear, while retaining a sense of mystery, and the book includes a helpful glossary of unfamiliar terms.


Mark, I hope you’ll like reading poetry by Rumi. Thanks for writing in!

Would you like the Poetry Concierge to make a recommendation for you? Check out the introductory post, and send your answers to the questionnaire, along with the name and/or blog you’d like posted with the reply, to rosemaryandreadingglasses [at] gmail [dot] com.

3 thoughts on “The Poetry Concierge Recommends: Rumi

  1. Pingback: No Joke: The Poetry Concierge Returns – Rosemary and Reading Glasses

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