We have brand new translations of Rumi’s quatrains (rubaiyat) from the Divan-i Kebir, translated by Nevit Ergin. Although selections of Ergin’s translations of the quatrains have been published before, this will be the first time that his translations of Rumi’s entire Rubaiyat (in English only) will have ever been published.
We plan to publish the four volumes of these new translations in Fall 2023.
To date, all the work on our project has been volunteer. We are launching a social media campaign in the beginning of March to raise awareness of the project – leading up to a Kickstarter campaign in October 2023 to cover the cost of printing. If we don’t meet our Kickstarter goal, we will publish the four-volume set through the self-publishing arm of Amazon. The physical quality of the books won’t be nearly as good, but the content will remain amazing.
And, as you can see below, our project includes even more than then four printed volumes of Rumi’s quatrains!
New Original Music Set to Rumi’s Verses
Internationally known classical guitarist and composer Smaro Gregoriadou composed four song cycles, one for each volume. Because of COVID restrictions in Greece, only the first has been produced. The other three are ready to go and will be produced as soon as the studios are re-opened.
The Replica of the Osman al-Mavlavi Compilation
of the Divan-i Kebir of Mevlana Celaluddin Rumi
The original of this compilation is currently housed in the Mevlana Museum in Konya, Turkey. With permission from the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Turkey and the then Director of the Museum, Ergin commissioned to have a photographic duplicate made ,and he then published a limited number of copies. All of the quatrains in The Rubaiyat of Rumi, The Ergin Translations come from this particular compilation.
New Editions of Unknown Rumi
Nevit Ergin selected 100 quatrains from The Rubaiyat of Rumi and commented on each of them. For more information, see Unknown Rumi.
A Gold-Leaf Poster
The project inspired the creation of a poster featuring one of Rumi’s quatrains and artwork taken from the al Mavlavi compilation of the Divan-I Kebir. Rumi climbed the mountain. Rumi reached the top of the mountain. Rumi became the mountain. The featured poem is one he created after he had reached the top.
The project also inspired us to add Rumi quotes to nature photography. These can all be accessed and downloaded for free from our MEMES page.
As we mentioned above, all the quatrains in The Rubaiyat of Rumi, The Ergin Translations all come from Rumi’s Divan-i Kebir. This particular compilation was compiled in 1367-1368 C.E. by Hasan ibn-i Osman-al Mavlavi and is currently housed as numbers 68 and 69 in the Mevlana Museum in Konya, Turkey.
Ergin worked for seven years with his dear friend Meral Ekmekcioglu on preparing for publication the 1,867 quatrains contained in Mevlana Rubailer. Because Ergin had the Replica in hand, they were able to consult with scholars who could read the original Farsi and confirm that his translations of Rumi’s quatrains reflected the essence of Rumi’s work. Ergin was well aware of the criticism lodged against his translations; he translated from Turkish Scholar Abdulbaki Golpinarli’s translations of the Divan-i Kebir rather than directly from the original Farsi itself. As a result, Mevlana Rubailer presents each quatrain in a photographic copy of the original Farsi, Ergin’s native language Turkish, and Ergin’s second language, English. Unfortunately, very few copies of Mevlana Rubailer were printed before Ergin’s passing. We have no knowledge if more copies were or will be printed. That said, we are including here Ergin’s message as found in the Preface of Mevlana Rubailer:
For the one who is frustrated with the dead ends of faith and the mind (reason), there is hope from Mevlana. No one but Mevlana articulates the deep silence of Absence so well. Mevlana is a great mountain with humanity at its feet and nothingness at its peak. To climb this mountain, Fena [Self annihilation] CONTINUED…
The Who’s Who of the Project
Six of us from four different countries collaborated for six years on this project, each bringing their expertise, dedication, a deep appreciation of Ergin’s work and a deep love of Rumi.
Biographies of Our Contributors:
Millicent “Alex” Alexander…John Morris…Shahzad Mazhar...Smaro Gregoriadou…Oscar Diaz Del Valle…Dimitrios Economidis.