Learn Persian through Rumi's Masnavi
The course is about one of Rumi’s Masterpieces, the Masnavi Ma’navi. The aim of this course is to advance and improve participants’ knowledge of the Persian language through studying the mostly colloquial language style of the work as is still practiced by Persian speakers. The conversation and discussion units of each teaching day will provide the participants with a chance for more interactive immersion experiences. The aim is that by the end of the course the participants are expected to be able to recognize the widely used verses of the Masnavi as proverbs and metaphors in everyday language. Each day will focus on intense readings of the Masnavi, explanations of difficult words, lexical variations and verse semantics, as well as the individual words and their function within the tales and stories.
During the first week of the course “Learn Persian through the Masnavi”, we will investigate the foundations of studying the Masnavi as a particular genre, and undertake a short introduction to Rumi as a Sufi poet. During this time the student will learn new vocabulary each day, a number of poetical literary devices, useful metaphors, and grammatical features that are specific to the Masnavi. The Sufism and Mystical features of the texts will be briefly explained while an attempt will be made to negotiate the intonation and the innate musicality of the poems. The first week will cover the thirty-five opening verses, widely known as “Ney Nameh” in Persian, followed by the stories of the greengrocer and the parrot, the grammarian and the boatman, the tale of Qazwini and the lion tattoo, and the tale of the deaf and his visit to a neighbor.
The following week of the course “Learn Persian through the Masnavi”, will incorporate further interesting stories and tales, and introduce certain mystical elements, while a deeper examination of the text will elucidate how Rumi’s stories and tales make the more difficult concepts of Sufism, mysticism and humanity much more accessible. This week will focus on the stories of Shaikh Ahmad and Halva, the Sufi and his donkey, the story of the Moses and the Shepherd, the snake and the sleeping man, and finally the story of the Arab man.