Seamus Heaney, Rumi

RUMI poems?

  1. Like This*
  2. A Moment of Happiness
  3. [[#|Moving]] Wate
Seamus Heaney
Mossbawn 1. Sunlight
The Haw Lantern*
Lightenings viii



1. historical context: Katie
2. Representative works: Stephen
3. Influences: Trevor
4. literary analysis: Stephen
5. Relevant Criticism: Katie
6. Biography: Christina

Personal History

aulana Jalaluddin Rumi was a 13th century Persian poet and an Islamic dervish and a Sufi mystic. He is regarded as one of the greatest spiritual masters and poetical intellects. He was Born in 1207 AD. He belonged to a family of learned theologians this lead to him using everyday life's circumstances to describe the spiritual world. Rumi's poems have acquired immense popularity, especially among the Persian speakers of Afghanistan, Iran and Tajikistan

In 1244 AD he came across a wandering dervish named Shamsuddin of Tabriz. Shamsuddin and Rumi became very close friends. For nearly ten years after meeting Shamsuddin, Rumi devoted himself in writing ghazals He made a compilation of ghazals and named it Diwan-e-Kabir or Diwan-e Shams-e Tabrizi. Shams went to Damascus were he was allegedly killed by the students of Rumi who were resentful of their close relationship. Rumi expressed his love for Shamsuddin and grief at his death, through music, dance and poems. Eventually, Rumi encountered a goldsmith - Salaud-Din-e Zarkub - whom he made his companion. When Salaud-Din-e Zarkub died Rumi befriended one of his favorite disciples named Hussam-e Chalabi.Rumi spent most of the later years of his life in Anatolia. This is where he finished six volumes of his masterwork, the Masnavi.



The Seljuks had a tradition of giving each son of a military leader his own land to develop. This created rivalries that fragmented the empire. In 1153 other Turkish tribes rose up against Sanjar (“last of the great Seljuks”). Sanjar's agrarian bureaucracy had been unable to fend off the pastoral nomads. Power in the east shifted to the Khwarasmshah tribe, then defeated the remaining Turkish tribes. Seljuk rule ended in Khurasan in 1157. The 13th century was dominated by the Mongol invasions. The first invasion came about because the Khwaramshahs had massacred 100 Mongol diplomats negotiating for peace. Genghis Khan (d. 1227) declared an all-out war against Islam and devastated the Khurasan region between 1219 and 1223. Fear of the Mongol armies drove many Persian intellectual and religious leaders to emigrate to Anatolia, including Rumi’s father, Baha al-Din, a cleric and mystic.

Leaving their homeland in the (now Afghan) region of Balkh, the family travelled for years about the Middle East, finally settling in Konya (Turkey) around 1220 at the invitation of the Seljuk Rum sultan, Kay Qobad. Rumi’s father died in 1231. Rumi studied Islamic law in Damascus until 1237, when he took over his father’s post. In 1244, Rumi met Shams of Tabriz, a wandering dervish who became the central figure in Rumi’s life until he disappeared in 1247. Rumi’s poetry was a continuing internal engagement with Shams’s powerful spiritual presence. But it’s clear from Franklin Lewis’s biographical research that Rumi was part of the urban elite in Konya and thus constantly involved in the political struggles of his time. Lewis (pp. 277-84) describes Rumi’s personal relationships with various authorities of this violent era, using extant letters to suggest his skill at combining diplomacy with pastoral counselling.

In 1243, the Mongols defeated the Seljuk Rum forces at Kose Dag, forcing the sultan to become a tribute-paying vassal. But Mongol Ilkhanid control was lax, allowing local Turkish amirs to develop small client regimes charged with sending taxes and custom dues back to the Mongols in Karakorum. From 1256, Anatolia was actually ruled by a brutally opportunistic Mongol appointee in Konya known as the Parvane, who was nominally the sultan’s personal assistant. He was also a supporter of Rumi’s dervish lodge (Lewis, 279-80). But as Ethel Wolper shows in Cities and Saints, the Mongols’ basic policy was decentralization, and this included support for local Sufi groups that were less doctrinaire and more open to the non-Muslim population than the madrasa-based Seljuk orthodoxy had been. In effect, Sufi lodges became populist civic spaces. This political background is obviously relevant when we consider Rumi’s inclusivist spiritual outlook. In 1258 the Mongols under Hulagu destroyed Baghdad and ended the Abbasid caliphate. Rumi died in 1273.



Some believe that Rumi's Poetry can help people with psychological disorders because his poetry speak to people's inner psyche. Rumi uses story telling psycho analysis. Others reject Rumi's poetry because it is viewed as being too spiritual. Religion is a bit part of Rumi's poetry but it was also written to deal with psychological problems. A good example of this is the poem "you worry too much" and it could be about anxiety.


Seamus Heaney

1. historical: katie

2. Representative works: Trevor

3. Influences: Stephen

4. Literary Analysis: Trevor

5. Relevant Criticism: Katie

6. Biography: Christina


Seamus Heaney was born in April 1939, the eldest member of a family which would eventually contain nine children. The poet has commented on the fact that his parentage thus contains both the Ireland of the cattle-herding Gaelic past and the Ulster of the Industrial Revolution. He spent his childhood in County Derry in Northern Ireland. His family left the farm where he was reared in 1953. Heaney moved progressively farther from his birthplace, first to the city of Derry, then to Belfast, then the Irish Republic, where he made his home, with annual teaching periods in America since 1982. Recognized as one of the “Northern School” of Irish writing in the mid-1960s


Historical Background

Heaney was born during the beginning of WWII. Ireland technically did not chose a side during they war but they were still involved and irish men did fight. In 1949 the Republic of Ireland was started. After that the history of Ireland consisted of many battles with the UK the old owners of the Republic. This fighting could have influenced Heaney to write such Irish centered poetry.



Some of Heaney's Influences are
  • T.S. Elliot
  • Ireland; where he grew up, Delly
  • Nature of Ireland
  • Irish History



Seamus Heaney's Work is respected and influential. It is thought to be a gateway into Ireland because of the images he creates. The images and situations he uses are then applied to life problems. An example of this could be found in the poem Blackberry Picking. His work is respected by not only professors but the common reader as well. Heaney's work can be read at a literally level or annotated but both ways it is found entertaining.

Representative works

Heaney has written many volumes of work through his [[#|career]]. These are primarily volumes of wondrous poetry which deals with the wonder and majesty of being Irish. He also translated Beowulf to include northern Irish tone and speech patterns.

Literary Analysis

Blackberry Picking" by Seamus Heaney

Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the [[#|blackberries]] would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet Like thickened wine:summer's blood was in it
Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for Picking.
Then red ones inked up and that hunger Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots
Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.
Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drills We trekked and picked until the cans were full,
Until the tinkling bottom had been covered With green ones, and on top big dark blobs burned Like a plate of eyes. Our hands were peppered With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard's.
We hoarded the fresh berries in the byre.
But when the bath was filled we found a fur,
A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache. The juice was stinking too.
Once off the bush The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour. I always felt like crying.
It wasn't fair That all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.
Each year I hoped they'd keep, knew they would not.

(sorry about the lines being off)

This poem utilizes many literary devices, such as similes, in fairly generic ways i.e. hard as a knot. The real meat of this poem lies in the symbolism of the blackberries. The blackberries, like summer and all other things that cause joy, eventually rot and die. This symbolism of impermanence is coupled with the feeling of this poem being said by a child. This comes through in the final three lines where the symbolism collide with the tone. This is where it all made sense to me. This poem is really about a kid struggling to accept and embrace that all good things come and go. It's like the Burns poem "To a Mouse" says "The best laid schemes of mice and men Go often awry, And leave us nothing but grief and pain, For promised joy!" As the Irish rally to kill me for comparing Heaney to a Scot, I realized that this poem is just a modern retelling of the Burns poem. Instead of a mouse, its kids; instead of a house, its blackberries.

Other Link about Seamus Heaney