Coleman Barks and Friends Celebrate the Mystical Power of Rumi
Through a unique collaboration of musicians, dancers, and poets, The Rumi Concert brings to life the ecstatic poetry of the 13th-century Persian mystic Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī.
The concert features Coleman Barks, author of numerous Rūmī translations and a student of Sufism since 1977. Barks is accompanied by world percussionist Glen Velez, Grammy Award-winning cellist David Darling, and acclaimed storydancer Zuleikha. Together they convey the rapture and longing of Rūmī's wondrous poetry.
Rūmī (1207-1273) was a teacher, mystic, and poet of surpassing spiritual power. He created some 20,000 poems as oral extemporizations recorded by his students. Many are fervent love poems, although Barks says the eroticism is a metaphor for the soul’s longing for God’s love.
“His poetry reflects the transcendent longing we all feel," Barks says. "Rūmī speaks to the times. He sees the divine in grace and kindness, and also in the terrible things, revealing to us the ecstasy that resides at the deepest core of experience, and the way out of sorrow.”