This book (previously published as I Am Wind, You Are Fire ) celebrates the extraordinary career of Persia's great mystical poet, Rumi (12071273), through the story of his life, along with an enlightening examination of his ecstatic verse. Rumi lived the quiet life of a religious teacher in Anatolia until the age of thirty-seven, when he came under the influence of a whirling dervish, Shams Tabriz, and was moved to a state of mystical ecstasy. One of the results of this ecstasy was a prodigious output of poems about the search for the lost Divine Beloved, whom Rumi identified with Shams. To symbolize this search, Rumi also invented the famous whirling dance of the Melevi dervishes, which are performed accompanied by the chanting of Rumi's poems. Professor Schimmel illuminates the symbolism and significance of Rumi's vast output and offers her own translations of some of his most famous poems.
"Annemarie Schimmel has been immersed in Rumi for over forty years. Her scholarship and devotion are magnificent. She has a deep understanding of the poems, the mystical puns, the music, and the dancy inner meanings of Rumi's work."—Coleman Barks, author of The Essential Rumi.
Annemarie Schimmel is an international authority on Islamic religion and literature and especially the works of Rumi. The author of over seventy books, she is now retired from Harvard University and the University of Bonn but continues to lecture worldwide.