Rumi and Painting Analysis

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As part of Persian literature, Rumi’s poetry is influenced by Islam and Sufi ideas. All of his poems relate to Muslim religious views, which affect the true theme. The short poem I have chosen to analyze is, “You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?” This poem is closely related to the painting of a man standing on a mountain’s peak, so far up that clouds can be seen below him. Both share similar interpretations of themes such as: seize opportunities, set high goals, and strive for the best in life. However, these messages are conveyed in different ways by Rumi and the painter. Rumi’s piece is asking the reader, if you are given wings, why would you choose to crawl as a way of traveling throughout life. This is done using imagery, tone, and a metaphor. In the poem, the imagery found is formed by the words “wings” and “crawl.” The connotation associated with “wings” in this piece is positive and free, while “crawl” is associated with negative and gloomy emotions. While developing the imagery, this technique also establishes a tone that is encouraging, yet also curious. It poses a question for the reader that leads to deeper thoughts and interpretations. All of this is created by a metaphor, that uses wings to describe a path to a better life, and crawling as a way of life where you’re barely getting by. From these literary devices, it can be interpreted that Rumi is trying to tell the reader that when great opportunities are offered, such as those presented in the Islamic religion, it is beneficial for them to be seized.

The painter forms the same themes using similar methods. The theme is established by the imagery and mood. In the painting it illustrates a man “on top of the world” as he stands triumphantly on a mountain. Using this imagery, a mood of success and accomplishment is developed. The painter utilizes both literary devices to generate themes that the reader can relate to.

Both Rumi and the painter construct this universal...
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