Mac Miller and Rumi Make a Ritual To Read to Each Other, by Megan Willome

Intro

Whilst perusing the interwebs, we came across this wonderfully creative intersection of culture, perspective, and philosophy.

Megan Willome, author of The Joy of Poetry: How to Keep, Save & Make Your Life With Poems, shares with us her thoughts on Rumi and Mac Miller. Wait, but why those two?


A Ritual to Read to Each Other: Rumi and Mac Miller

“And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,

a remote important region in all who talk”

A Ritual to Read to Each Other” by William Stafford
Mac Miller and Rumi Similarities

Sometimes in this crazy world that’s getting a little more nutty every day, we need a voice that’s “shadowy” to speak truth. Someone who can “talk” from beyond the grave, that “remote important region.” Sometimes we need a poet in a turban. Sometimes we need a poet covered in tattoos. We need a little Rumi and Mac Miller now.

I’ve been reading Rumi this month, and he is not exactly my cup of tea. But this 13th century Sufi mystic remains one of the most popular poets in the world, and so when I got a deal on The Essential Rumi, I decided to dive in. Then I read a Tweetspeak post about a student who combined the lyrics of rapper Lauryn Hill with lines from poet Emily Dickinson, and I stood up inside myself and said, RUMI AND MAC ARE SOUL BROTHERS!

Like Rumi, Mac Miller has never been my cup of tea either, but after his death from an accidental overdose, his family postumously released his album Circles, and I finally understood his popularity.

If you are enjoying this guest post, check out some of our other Literary reads, here.

The more I think about the similarities between these two artists, the more excited I get. I like the idea of Mac as a mystic, or alternatively, Rumi as a rapper.

Megan Willome
Mac Miller and Rumi Similarities

Here’s a sentence about Rumi that works for Mac as well: “Rumi’s fame during his own lifetime was notable, and his death was widely mourned.” If Rumi had a YouTube channel I suspect the comments would be just as laudatory as those on Mac’s, with sentiments like “see you in the next life brother” “Stress no more. Rest easy,” and “I hope he knows how many people he helped, especially after death.”

So let’s do this. Let’s place lines from Rumi’s My Worst Habit beside Mac’s Good News. Let’s make some weird, wild poetry. I chose these two works in particular because both have a sense of hopeful despair.

My Worst Habit: Good News

R: My worst habit is I get so tired of winter
M: Well so tired of being so tired

R: I become a torture to those I’m with
M: No they don’t like me when I’m down

R: My words / tangle and knot up
M: What is there to say?

R: If you’re not here, nothing grows.
M: I’m running out of gas, hardly anything left / Hope I make it home from work

If you are enjoying this guest post, check out some of our other Literary reads, here.

R: How to cure bad water? Send it back to the river.
M: When you’re high but you’re underneath the ceiling

Thinking about the similarities between Mac Miller and Rumi, the more excited I get. I like the idea of Mac as a mystic, or Rumi as a rapper.
Mac Miller and Rumi Similarities

R: When water gets caught in habitual whirlpools
M: Why I gotta build something beautiful just to go set it on fire?

R: Dig a way out through the bottom / to the ocean
M: Wake up to the moon, haven’t seen the sun in a while / But I heard that the sky’s still blue

R: Take sips of breath all day and night / before death closes your mouth.
M: I’m always wonderin’ if it feels like summer / I know maybe I’m too late

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R: Look as long as you can at the friend you love,
M: There’s a whole lot more for me waitin’ on the other side

M: It ain’t that bad / ain’t so bad / well it ain’t that bad / at least it don’t gotta be no more
R: There is a secret medicine / give only to those who hurt so hard / they can’t hope

R: The hopers would feel slighted if they knew.
M: It make ‘em so uncomfortable

In the section The Essential Rumi, translator Coleman Brooks tells an old Chinese Taoist story that ends with this observation: “Rumi’s poems are like firecrackers on a funeral pyre. They won’t allow much public posturing, and they point us away from misery.” Sometimes the only way to make sense of this life’s remote important regions is to light a fire, stand back, and let the teaching begin.

Your turn

1. Can you think of a poet and a singer/songwriter whose words might pair well?
2. I got into both Rumi and Mac at the nudging of others. Who is an artist you initially did not care for, but later found something to like after being encouraged to dive in?
3. Share your July pages. Sliced, started, and abandoned are all fair game.

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About the Author
Thinking about the similarities between Mac Miller and Rumi, the more excited I get. I like the idea of Mac as a mystic, or Rumi as a rapper.
Megan Wilome Guest Post A Ritual to Read to Eachother

Megan Willome is a contributing writer for Rock & Vine and the Art Guide, both published by the Fredericksburg Standard. She also writes poetry prompts for Chronic Joy and has done some work for Magnolia Journal. At Tweetspeak Poetry, where serves as editor, she writes book reviews for grownups and kids and lead a monthly column encouraging all of us to learn poetry By Heart (in other words, memorize ’em!).

In 2016 TS Poetry Press published The Joy of Poetry, a story of losing my mom and finding poetry. It’s part memoir, part anthology (my own poems and those of others), and part spirited defense of poetry, especially for those who think they hate it.

Megan Willome

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Published by Willy Martinez

Willy Martinez is a creative writer, Integrated Marketing Specialist, and Boxing coach. Since being honorably discharged from the Marines in 2004, he has pursued his passion for telling stories, whether they be through film, graphic design, and writing for digital art.

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