So Bighead Needleman comes up and says, who's this Rumi and how come you don't fulfill the promise of your blog? Well, I have Valentines to write. But, since you ask...
Rumi is my 13th-century imaginary friend and the best-selling poet in America. He was a Sufi, the original whirling dervish, out of whose ceaselessy turning mind poured thousands of poems. He's a fountain and a mountain and a sweet-talking ladies' man (although he may have been gay). He's a carnival ride and a spiritual guide. He is timeless, rhymeless (in English, anyway) and he has more to say to us here in the 21st century than a thousand academics hunched over borrowed monkey typewriters.
The main reason for Rumi's popularity today is Coleman Barks, his greatest translator. Coleman played a Southern preacher in a movie I wrote called "Big Bad Love." He is a bona fide poet, madman, and vastly creative human being who sits on a porch in Georgia and keeps churning out the translations in addition to his own original work. He was born to do it, and his tireless, ego-less channeling of Rumi has enriched my existence beyond measure. Getting to meet him and work with him was a big deal for me. Hence, the link in my sidebar.
There you go, Bighead. And happy birthday to your little man.