I am so small I can barely be seen.
How can this great love be inside me?
Look at your eyes. They are small,
but they see enormous things.
In the late 1990s the surprising bestselling poet in America is a
thirteenth-century Sufi poet and mystic named Jelaluddin Rumi. For seven hundred years,
Rumis writings have enchanted, inspired, and enlightened Muslims, Jews, Christians,
Hindus, and Buddhists. Rumis poetry celebrates the sacred in everyday existence and
transcends boundaries of time, place, and religion to speak to all people.
Coleman Barks The Essential Rumi has sold over 100,000 copies and he is
considered the preeminent translator of Rumi today. In 1995, Barks saw filmmaker Haydn
Reiss documentary William Stafford & Robert Bly:A Literary Friendship and
suggested to Reiss that a film about Rumi would be timely.
RUMI: Poet of the Heart features Barks along with poet/translator Robert Bly
(who in 1976 encouraged Barks to begin to translate Rumi); author Deepak Chopra,
storyteller and mythologist Michael Meade, and religious historian and author of The
Worlds Religions Huston Smith. Oud virtuoso Hamza El Din and singer Jai Uttal
offer inspiring accompaniment to this beautifully produced film. A lively and provocative
exploration of the genius and timeliness of Rumis emergence in the west.
"At the end of our wanderings there is only the souls yearning to return to
God. No one speaks that yearning better than Rumi. No one, these days, does Rumi better
than Coleman Barks." - Ram Dass
"Perhaps the worlds greatest spiritual poet - the gold of Rumi pours down
through Colemans words." - Jack Kornfield, author of A Path With Heart
"Through Coleman Barks inspired renderings, we tired, modern people have
come not only to love Rumi, but even - a little - to love Who and What Rumi himself
loved." - Jacob Needleman, author of The Heart of Philosophy and Money and
the Meaning of Life
Producer/director Haydn Reiss work has aired on PBS and includes
Overture: A Conversation with Lotfi Mansouri, River of Words with
U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass for the Green Means environmental series, and
William Stafford & Robert Bly: A Literary Friendship. Mr. Reiss was
assistant to director Adrian Lyne on the feature Jacobs Ladder and
assistant to the producer on Oliver Stones JFK. Current projects include
Watershed: Writers, Nature, and Community with Peter Matthiessen, Gary Snyder
and Terry Tempest Williams; a contemporary look at the relationship between people and
place. Mr. Reiss has received grants from the Lannan Foundation, the Witter Bynner
Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts for his work.