Ever since their composition in the 13th century the poems of the Persian writer Rumi have enthralled millions of readers around the world. In...

Ever since their composition in the 13th century the poems of the Persian writer Rumi have enthralled millions of readers around the world. In Rumi’s Secret: The Life of the Sufi Poet of Love (Harper, 2017), Brad Gooch describes the life of their author and the path that took him from scholarship to poetry. The son of a scholar and cleric, Rumi traveled extensively as a child and enjoyed a wide-ranging education that prepared him for a life as a teacher and jurist. His meeting with the traveling mystic Shams of Tabriz transformed Rumi’s life, as he soon abandoned his education and responsibilities in favor of immersion into a life of aestheticism. As Gooch explains, it was this relationship which sparked Rumi’s development into the poet he became, as his deep and passionate relationship with Shams created a wellspring of emotions that were subsequently embodied in some of the most enduring verses ever written.

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