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Rumi – How A 13th Century Poet Inspired More Than a Me

Rumi was a thirteenth-century Islamic scholar, Sufi mystic, and a poet. As a matter of fact, he has been described as the “best-selling” and “most popular poet” in the United States (per, BBC) and the influence of his beautiful work appears to know no bounds. His words have crossed many borders and have transcended many different creeds and people find knowledge within him even to this day. One of those people was Lilian Kars, author of More Than a Me.

“YOU ARE NOT JUST A DROP IN THE OCEAN; YOU ARE THE ENTIRE OCEAN IN A DROP.” – RUMI

The above is a quote from Rumi, one that conjures many images and can be interpreted in many different ways. From this, Lilian Kars was inspired to write More Than a Me and as we approach the one-year anniversary of the book’s publication, I have been inspired to find out a little more about the great wordsmith.

Born in Balkh in what is now modern-day Afghanistan to Persian parents, Rumi (full name: Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī) was heavily influenced by the culture that surrounded him. Greater Balkh was a hub of Persian culture and it is here that he was introduced to the work of Attar and Sanai – two poets who would greatly influence his own work.

A writer of both poetry and prose, his work is derived from unity with the Beloved. He believed strongly in his faith and was undeniably a Muslim scholar. He also believed strongly that music and poetry would bring a person closer to God. However, as with the above quote used at the beginning of More Than a Me, there is more than just a religious view that can be found within his words.

The legacy that Rumi left behind when he died in 1273 is one that can still be seen and heard prominently to this day. Not only have his words lived on and taken on new forms and interpretations. Rumi’s poetry forms the basis for a lot of Afghan and Iranian classical music, his work has been translated into languages far beyond the reach of the original texts and his mausoleum has even appeared on Turkish banknotes.

However, the one prevailing factor of Rumi’s legacy is the notion that peace can be achieved. The notion that people of different races, backgrounds, and religions can be united and that the world is a bigger place than the area surrounds you.

That idea is what More Than a Me is all about and Matthew James, alongside Lilian Kars and Steffie Padmos, are happy to help continue to spread Rumi’s message and encourage his legacy to live on through the adventures of Little Drop and the children that read them.

More Than a Me celebrates it’s one-year anniversary on July 30th and is available to buy directly from the Matthew James Publishing online shop.