10 of the Best Rumi Poems 

Rumi, born Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī, was a Persian poet, Sufi mystic, and scholar. Today, he is regarded as one of the most important poets in Persian history. 

Despite passing away in 1273, Rumi’s poems are incredibly popular today. They’ve been translated into dozens of languages and are read by poetry lovers and students alike. They are well-known for their ability to get to the heart of an issue, like love or religion, in only a few lines or words. Below, readers can explore a few of the best-known and most commonly studied Rumi poems. 

Best Rumi Poems


When I Die 

This famous Rumi poem focuses on eternal life after death. The poet asks that others refrain from grieving his death as it is just a means to a new beginning, not an end. The first stanza, as translated into English, reads: 

When I die

when my coffin

is being taken out

you must never think

I am missing this world

The lines demonstrate the style of much of Rumi’s verse. The lines are highly readable and use little jargon or complicated syntax

Thou and I 

‘Thou and I’ is unusual among the poems on this list in that it uses longer, prose-like lines. The first read: 

Happy the moment when we are seated in the Palace, thou and I.

With two forms and with two figures but with one soul, thou and I.

The colours of the grove and the voice of the birds will bestow immortality

At the time when we come into the garden, thou and I.

The stars of heaven will come to gaze upon us;

The speaker is addressing their words to their lover, someone that they hope to walk into the next life with. The speaker says that “All the bright plumed birds of heaven will devour their hearts with envy” when they see the way the speaker and “thou” are “mingled in ecstasy. 

I Am Thine and Thou Art Mine 

‘I Am Thine and Thou Art Mine ‘ is a short, easy-to-read poem that describes a speaker’s love for God and how eternal life is obtained. The title references that which the speaker believes one should address to God. Here are the first lines of this well-known poem. 

Eternal Life is gained

by utter abandonment of one’s own life.

When God appears to His ardent lover,

the lover is absorbed in Him, and not so much as a hair of the lover remains.

True lovers are as shadows, 

The text was translated to English by R.A. Nicholson. 

The Gifts of the Beloved 

‘The Gifts of the Beloved’ begins with these lines: 

Where will you find one more liberal than God?

He buys the worthless rubbish which is your wealth,

He pays you the Light that illumines your heart.

He accepts these frozen and lifeless bodies of yours,

And gives you a Kingdom beyond what you dream of,

He takes a few drops of your tears,

The speaker is describing God and asking the reader how “you” could find something to dedicate yourself to that is “more liberal than God.” God gives “you the Light that illumines your heart” and, as the last lines note: “God gave Abraham the title of “Father of the Faithful.”

A Prayer

‘A Prayer,’ which was also translated to English by R.A. Nicholson is another great Rumi poem that’s worth reading. It begins with these three lines: 

Pray in this wise and allay your difficulties:

“Give us good in the house of our present world,

And give us good in the house of our next world.

It speaks, as many of Rumi’s poems do, to the purpose of life and what comes after death. The poem ends with the line: “And be Thou, O Holy One, our goal!”

Love Sounds the Music of the Spheres 

This two-stanza poem is addressed to the speaker’s soul, a clever example of an apostrophe. The speaker says to his soul: 

O soul, if thou, too, wouldst be free,

Then love the Love that shuts thee in.

‘Tis Love that twisteth every snare;

He believes that it is “Love that snaps the bond of sin; / Love sounds the Music of the Spheres,” and more. The poem concludes with the assertion that when one loves they are closer to God. 

If You are Seeking, Seek Us with Joy

This piece is short as most Rumi poems are. It begins with the lines featured in the title and continues with: 

For we live in the kingdom of joy.

Do not give your heart to anything else

But to the love of those who are clear joy,

Do not stray into the neighborhood of despair.

The poem ends on a very inspiring note. The speaker asserts that “suns exist” and that “you” should not give into the darkness. 

This is How I Would Die

‘This is How I Would Die’ is a four-line Rumi poem that compares the speaker’s love, and desire to be consumed by their lover, to the way that clouds “dissolve in the sunlight.” It is a great example of the short love poems that Rumi is best known for. The poem begins with:

This is how I would die

into the love I have for you:


The Flame of Love

‘The Flame of Love’ is a six-line poem that asks “thou” how long they are going to spend on superficialities. The speaker is only interested in a “burning heart.” True, and passionate love, is what’s really important. Not “words” or how someone appears/presents themselves. As translated by R.A. Nicholson, the first four lines read: 

How long wilt thou dwell on words and superficialities?

A burning heart is what I want; consort with burning.

Kindle in thy heart the flame of Love,

And burn up utterly thoughts and fine expressions.


FAQs

What is a Rumi poem? 

Rumi’s poems are short, to the point, and incredibly effective. Rumi used few words to convey complicated philosophical ideas and images referencing love, God, the afterlife, religion, and more.

How to write a Rumi poem?

When composing a poem inspired by Rumi, keep it short and mostly to the point. Between four and twenty lines is a good range to consider. As Rumi’s poems do, you should consider writing about subjects like love, the afterlife, God, and death. You may want to direct your poem to someone as well (many of Rumi’s poems used second-person perspective or were written with someone, like a lover or family member, in mind. 

Who was Rumi? 

Rumi, born Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī, and known asJalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī, was a Persian poet born in September 1207. He was a scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic. He died in December 1273. 

What language did Rumi write in? 

Rumi primarily wrote in Persian. His poetry has since been translated into English and many other languages and has far surpassed his popularity during his lifetime. Today, he’s considered one of the most important poets in history.

What is Rumi’s most famous poem?

Some of Rumi’s famous poems include ‘On the Turn,’ ‘When I Die,’ and ‘The Gifts of the Beloved.’ These short, to-the-point pieces of poetry are incredibly popular despite the fact that they were written in the 1200s. 

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Emma Baldwin Poetry Expert
About
Emma graduated from East Carolina University with a BA in English, minor in Creative Writing, BFA in Fine Art, and BA in Art Histories. Literature is one of her greatest passions which she pursues through analyzing poetry on Poem Analysis.
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