About CILC Staff

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Posts by CILC Staff:

Robert Yu

Robert Yu

I found Rumi’s poem “The Loom of Phantasy” particularly fun, mostly for Rumi and Nicholson’s choice of words. While the whole poem offers nice contrast and imagery, I particularly like the last line: “Behold how the madmen dote on the blackness of those lines traced without fingers”. Honestly I do not know just quite what that means, but,(…)

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Mengchen Xu

Mengchen Xu

O’ God! When I look upon you, I see myself a king among kings, A crown on my head; When I look upon myself, I see myself among the humble, Dust on my head. –Khwajah Abudullah Ansari This excerpt of Sufi poem draws attention to the unity and distinction between God and human being. In Ansari’s words,(…)

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Clayton Wartmann

Clayton Wartmann

Viewed through the lens of the Islamic idea of continuous creation, the classical Western dichotomy of free will versus predetermination breaks down, and we are able envision a world in which the two opposite exist simultaneously. Creation is not an event that happened in the past but rather a mode of existence in which God creates the entire(…)

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Nathan Teetor

Nathan Teetor

Love and Death The poem I chose to read was a love poem by Rumi.   I died as mineral and became a plant, I died as plant and rose to animal, I died as animal and I was man. Why should I fear? When was I less by dying? Yet once more I shall(…)

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Ari Schwartz

Ari Schwartz

In Rumi’s Saint’s Method of Training, he writes about the ways to live that most benefit a person’s life. In one particular paragraph, Rumi describes morals that are fundamental for achieving closeness to God: “In God’s world there is nothing more difficult than enduring the ridiculous. Suppose for instance that you have read a certain book, corrected, emended,(…)

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Andrew Rindlaub

Andrew Rindlaub

Someone asked: Is there any way nearer to God than prayer? He replied: Also prayer, but prayer which is not merely this outward form. This is the ‘body’ of prayer, since formal prayer has a beginning and an end; and everything which has a beginning and an end is a ‘body.’ Moreover this formal prayer(…)

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Anita Peebles

Anita Peebles

In the various selections of Islamic poetry that we have read, there are obvious references to the themes of Islam and Islamic cultures that we have discussed. Especially with Rumi, there were poems that began with the first line of a Quranic verse, which was then explicated and elaborated upon in the rest of the poem. This reminded(…)

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David Nemetz

David Nemetz

Sa’di Oneness of Mankind All men are members of the same body, Created from one essence If fate brings suffering to one member, The others cannot stay at rest You who remain indifferent to the burden of pain of others, Do not deserve to be called human Poetry is an important art form that expresses(…)

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Jesse Miller

Jesse Miller

I died from mineral, and plant became; Died from the plant and took the sentient frame; Died from the beast, and donned a human dress; When by my dying did I ever grow less? -From “Spiritual Journey,” by Rumi These four beautiful lines of Rumi speak to vital aspects of the Islamic eschatological perspective. One of(…)

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Zoe Martens

Zoe Martens

I chose Saeb Tabrizi’s Dispersed Couplets, specifically Couplet 2 reading: “The wave is ignorant of the true nature of the sea; how can the temporal comprehend the Eternal?” This poem was significant for me because it explains the Islamic view of the relationship between the Divine and humanity by using imagery of nature. Since all is created in(…)

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Dana Lipper

Dana Lipper

I read pieces of Persian poetry and decided to focus on Sa’di’s Oneness of Mankind. I saw two themes in this poem connected to Islamic worldviews that we have been discussing. The first comes from the first two lines: “All men are members of the same body,/ created from one essence”. Recently, in relation to Islamic art, we(…)

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Zack Knoll

Zack Knoll

A Sufi poem by Mansür al-Hallaj struck me as particularly representative of several Islamic theological and artistic themes. The poem reads: He am I whom I love, He whom I love is I, Two Spirits in one single body dwelling. So seest thou me, then seest thou Him, And seest thou Him, then seest thou Us.(…)

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Johnnie Kallas

Johnnie Kallas

The Islamic poetry selections we read from and discussed in class share a lot of the common themes about Islamic worldview already developed throughout the course. Like other forms of art, poetry remains distinctly connected with spirituality and Islamic virtues, and is not very distinct from religion. While poetry often describes topics such as love, areas that are(…)

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Amy Jackson-Smith

Amy Jackson-Smith

How does this literary piece shed light on an important question related to the Islamic worldview and what about the piece interests me? Sa’di A quadruped loaded with books Two men took useless trouble and strove without any profit, when one of them accumulated property without enjoying it, and the other learnt without practicing what(…)

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Caio Ingber

Caio Ingber

Rumi’s poem “Spiritual Journey” mentions much about Muslim eschatology and has Sufi, mystical undertones. In the first part of the poem Rumi describes the cycle of reincarnation and talks about the transformation process of the soul from the least complex physical unit (mineral) to the most complex (human). He places an emphasis on the eternality of life through spirit(…)

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Mirayla Hylbom

Mirayla Hylbom

The poetry sample I chose to discuss in class was selected from a poem by Sa’di, translated by Edward Bowen, entitled “A Tale From Sa’di.” The selection I read follows: Aggrieved because I had no shoes I shuffled down the street, Till someone cried: “There stumping goes A man who has no feet. ” Then was I instantly(…)

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