Saturday, January 19, 2008

Rumi's Mathnavi: A Theatre Adaptation by Joe Martin

N.B. -- I wrote this review for the Early Reviewer program of See the website for details.

Generally speaking, reading plays is not my thing. Even when I cover them in my literature classes, I assign parts for reading, then we all watch the video in class.

Rumi's love poetry was part of my wedding, and I really enjoy those works. I asked to review this because of the title.

Reading was a struggle, because the explanatory, biographical, and historical information was thin, and it seemed aimed at those familiar with Rumi and his works.

Nevertheless, there were some pretty cool passages. For example:

The Prophet said that women prevail
With the intelligent and the wise
On the other hand it's the ignorant men
Who prevail over women (28).

Whenever I think of women and religion, or simply the attidude of men toward Hillary Clinton, or women's rights, I can't help but think of the Chinese proverb, "Women hold up half the sky." So this view of women was a pleasant surprise considering what we think we know about Islam's attitude toward women. Three stars.

--Chiron, 1/18/08

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