Peter Rogen Reads Poems of Rumi to Elon Community

Peter Rogen

By Patrick Larsen

Peter Rogen, acclaimed Rumi interpreter, gave performative readings of 13th century mystic poet Rumi to an audience of students, faculty and staff on in LaRose Digital Theater Friday evening.

Rogen was joined by musicians Amir Vehab, Yvette Gogass and Gail Niziak.

According to Jane Ciabattari of BBC, Rumi is the bestselling poet in the U.S.  This level of popularity in contemporary book sales points to the poet’s universal appeal.

Elon got a slice of that universal appeal Friday night.

The evening consisted of Rogen performing poems, Vehab, Gogass and Niziak performing music and even a little dancing.

At one point, Rogen discussed the social relationships of mystics.

“We’d do this all night,” said Rogen.  “Singing, poetry, silence.”

“No one knows what they’re going to sing next or which poem verses they’re going to recite.”

Vehab taught the audience a little bit about the instruments used.

“What’s interesting about the instrument we chose tonight is that these are the authentic instruments,” said Vehab, “not only of the time that Rumi lived and existed and interacted with people…but also these are from that region.”

At the end of the evening, audience members were invited to come to the front of the Theater and dance to the music being performed, as mystics would do.

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