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Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond

Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond

Rumi's Masnavi: poetry reading

Rumi's Masnavi: poetry reading

2:01

Actor Helen Morse reads from Rumi's Masnavi, translated by Reynold A Nicholson.

This reading is part of a series of excerpts from the romantic stories and lyrical verse written or inspired by some of the great Persian poets of the past, as showcased in the Love and devotion: from Persia and beyond exhibition.

Rumi's Masnavi: poetry reading transcript


From the Masnavi of Rumi, translated by Reynold A Nicholson

Listen to the reed how it tells a tale, complaining of separations –
Saying,'Ever since I was parted from the reed-bed, my lament hath caused man and woman to moan.
I want a bosom torn by severance, that I may unfold (to such a one) the pain of love-desire.
Every one who is left far from his source wishes back the time when he was united with it.
In every company I uttered my wailful notes, I consorted with the unhappy and with them that rejoice.
Every one became my friend from his own opinion; none sought out my secrets from within me.
My secret is not far from my plaint, but ear and eye lack the light (whereby it should be apprehended).
Body is not veiled from soul, nor soul from body, yet none is permitted to see the soul.
This noise of the reed is fire, it is not wind: whoso hath not this fire, may he be naught!
'Tis the fire of Love that is in the reed, 'tis the fervour of Love that is in the wine.'

8:57
Cameron Douraghy talks about the Rostam: Tales from the Shahnameh comic book series.
40:53
Dr Barbara Brend discusses the illustrations in the 'Khamsa' of Nizami and the 'Khamsa' of Amir Khusrau.
40:52
Dr Zahra Taheri discusses the role of the feminine in the life and teachings of the mystic Sufi poet Rumi.
Dr Mammad Aidani explores contemporary ways of understanding the poetry of Maulana Jalal al-Din Rumi.
23:44
Prof Charles Melville on illuminated manuscripts that address themes of love and devotion.
24:57
Prof Charles Melville on illuminated manuscripts that address themes of love and devotion.
1:41
Hear Helen Morse read from Goethe’s West-eastern Divan.
1:49
Hear Helen Morse read from Lord Byron's The bride of Abydos.
1:41
Hear Helen Morse read Shakespeare's Sonnet no 54.
31:05
Enjoy an insight into the exhibition Love and devotion as co-curator Susan Scollay reveals the beauty of Persian poetry.
2:09
Hear Helen Morse read from the Divan of Hafiz.
1:46
Hear Helen Morse read from Dante's Divine comedy.
1:47
Hear Helen Morse read from the story of Layla and Majnun, as told in the Khamsa of Nizami.
2:19
Hear Helen Morse read from ʿAttar's Conference of the birds.
2:01
Hear Helen Morse read from Rumi's Masnavi.
2:42
Hear Helen Morse read from Firdausi's Shahnama.
2:22
Hear Helen Morse read from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.
1:23
Actor Helen Morse introduces lyrical works written by the great Persian poets of the past.
17:17
Richard Ovenden discusses the Bodleian Libraries and the 'Love and devotion' exhibition.
5:14
A preview of the Persian manuscripts that feature in Love and devotion, the Library's landmark 2012 exhibition.
1:23
Actor Helen Morse introduces lyrical works written by the great Persian poets of the past.
2:22
Hear Helen Morse read from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.
2:42
Hear Helen Morse read from Firdausi's Shahnama.
2:01
Hear Helen Morse read from Rumi's Masnavi.
2:19
Hear Helen Morse read from ʿAttar's Conference of the birds.
1:47
Hear Helen Morse read from the story of Layla and Majnun, as told in the Khamsa of Nizami.
1:46
Hear Helen Morse read from Dante's Divine comedy.
2:09
Hear Helen Morse read from the Divan of Hafiz.
1:41
Hear Helen Morse read Shakespeare's Sonnet no 54.
1:49
Hear Helen Morse read from Lord Byron's The bride of Abydos.
1:41
Hear Helen Morse read from Goethe’s West-eastern Divan.
40:53
Dr Barbara Brend discusses the illustrations in the 'Khamsa' of Nizami and the 'Khamsa' of Amir Khusrau.
40:52
Dr Zahra Taheri discusses the role of the feminine in the life and teachings of the mystic Sufi poet Rumi.
Dr Mammad Aidani explores contemporary ways of understanding the poetry of Maulana Jalal al-Din Rumi.
23:44
Prof Charles Melville on illuminated manuscripts that address themes of love and devotion.
24:57
Prof Charles Melville on illuminated manuscripts that address themes of love and devotion.

Love & devotion in the UK

The Bodleian Libraries is showing its own presentation of the Love and devotion exhibition at the Exhibition Room, Bodleian Library, in Oxford, England, between 29 November 2012 and 28 April 2013.

Learn more about how you can visit this exhibition on the Bodleian Libraries website.

Conference

Love and devotion: Persian Cultural Crossroads

This two-day conference held in April 2012 featured distinguished international guests and Australian specialists exploring cultural convergences in literature, the arts and architecture, history and philosophy within Persia's cultural sphere and Europe, from the 11th century to the present day.

For information on keynote speakers & topics discussed, visit our conference page

Visit the exhibition

The Love and devotion exhibition took place from 9 March to 1 July 2012. In-depth information about the exhibits and themes can be found on this website.

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