Rumi reviews


Duncan Mackintosh and poetry by Rumi. Quite by accident ended up hearing Duncan Macintosh performing poetry by Rumi tonight. What joy! What passion for life and for love Rumi has and Duncan Mackintosh breathes. ..If you ever want to be reminded what it is to live and to love and you hear of this man performing this poetry – run there! ” Isabel Losada, Author of ‘For Tibet, With Love’ And ‘The Battersea Park Road to Enlightenment’.

What you do is beyond a performance. You give your listeners a taste of what they long for. In fact, more than a taste. You re-plug us to the current. I was back in Konya and Rumi was there.What you are doing is alive. It burns, caresses, consoles, re-awakens… You are the vehicle for something so huge that, perhaps, you  can’t see it… it is beautiful though difficult to bear, even on the receiving end. You are like ember and the other day, I felt like kindling.”     -Muriel Maufroy (Author of ‘Rumi’s Daughter’; and  ‘Breathing Truth’, Translations of Rumi)

“Last saturday night was sheer wonder, and what was alive and present was the Love, the Beauty, the Passion, the Knowledge, the Majesty which is Rumi, and you were a true instrument. So thankyou for coming all this long way in the depths of winter……and Love, this particular sweet and awesome Love which is Rumi has a house in which to dwell, and a voice with which to speak and, well, that is good  …Don’t give up!”    – a personal response from Frances Ryan, Beshara School of Intensive Esoteric Education, Chisholme House, Scotland

 “I would just like to share with you how amazing and wonderful Monday night was.  I had no idea really of what to expect, and I was blown away.   Please take this in and register and accept this appreciation!   Actually, I think you have helped my understanding and appreciation of such a teacher to move forward and develop; it’s easy to think that Rumi is a great poet, a remarkable person, an enlightened master, and all that – I now understand that the voice coming through Rumi, and who he really is and became, is The Friend.  This means taking his poetry very seriously, and also even more joyfully of course.  Thank you so much. The CD too is great – Wow again!”  –   Mark

“I am writing to you as I heard you share some of Rumi’s poetry at Alternatives, St.James Church, Piccadilly   I thought that you were absolutely amazing and I was moved to tears.  That was my introduction to the great Rumi and I really honestly couldn’t have asked for a better one.  So thank you so so much for that beautiful experience.”                                 -Johanna L 

“His storytelling was magical and wonderful! However the way he was able to bring Rumi through right there in your room yesterday evening  has left such a profound impact on me. I feel Rumi’s words living within me and know they will continue to do so for days and weeks, months and  surely years. Only with the passing of time will I be able to begin to understand how his words have affected me, moved me, changed me. I thank you again for bringing him.”       – Brigitte, Reading

“That was the best event I have ever heard at St James (Piccadilly, London) in over ten years of coming here – Thanks very much indeed!” – Attendee Feb 2012 St James (Piccadilly, London) 

“Dear Duncan, what a gorgeous, delicious, nutritious feast of an evening you created for us on Sunday. Your generous embracing courageous skilful presence led us on such a journey and held us lightly and lovingly along the way…….
More more more pleeeease!…… We need it more than food and drink – I just slurped
it up – thank you so much…..Loads of love”  – M

“Just to let you know I went to hear  Duncan M’s evening of Rumi’s poetry.  That is the first time I have listened to Duncan’s stories,  and I was blown away!  Thank you so much for the heads up.  I just loved every minute of it!” – Sally

 “I’m so grateful for having received Rumi’s blessings through your dedicated performance.”                                                                             Ari – Edinburgh

 “Your performance was wonderful! What a master of expression…A sheer delight…I laughed…I cried…Thank you.”                                      -Amisa Marcia , Seattle

 “What a wonderful way to spend an evening!.. Like a warm healing bath of remembering…. Thank you for being such a lively reed!”       -Sulfiati Magnuson,Psychotherapist,Seattle

 “A gem in the festival. A refreshing treat on the fringe….This is indeed food for the soul….Duncan brings the spirit of Rumi to life – his eyes blaze with an intensity which leave one believing that Rumi is here in the room with us…Profound vision and wit.. Rumi is the bread we all need to eat !” –                        review , Edinburgh  Festival 1999

 “ I hope you don’t me saying this, but you disappeared and Rumi came alive!”  –   Capetown SA

“You were transparent to Rumi – Thankyou “

“I could have stayed all night”

“I cannot speak I’m full, fed, drunk !”

“This has healed me tonight”

“Such nourishment”

“You’ve brought Rumi to life for me- what were words on a page spoke in a whole new way to me” 

“The most beautiful evening of my life!”

“I have sat with Gurus and Lamas,visited sacred sites and temples ,but nothing has moved me so deeply as your evening with Rumi , Thankyou!”                                                                                                                                      

“Like being bathed in red wine!”

“…that was a life transforming evening!”                                        -Audience Comments

 “If only I’d known, I’d have filled the theatre again with my students and clients”-                                                          – Spiritual Healer, Durban, SA                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

“Thank you, thank you! for your rendition of Rumi. I was transported into a realm of great mysticism and joy and particularly loved the seamlessness of the rendition. I didn’t think there was a gap between yourself, the channel, and the work, and it was a beautiful coming together of both. I hope to listen to you enrapt  again”                                                               – Marion , Stroud

   “A dear friend of mine was at your poetry recital [Rumi & ’Friends’]in Stroud, and spoke so highly of your work, its sensitivity, depth and impact. When I said I knew you she asked me to pass on grateful thanks, saying that she felt that people often didn’t show enough appreciation of those who gave so much spiritually through the performing arts.  So I relay this to you ….”                                                           – M. Reinhart

“Our symposium would not have been complete without a wonderful, funny, and profound rendition of poetry and stories by Duncan Mackintosh , largely drawn from Rumi and Hafiz…The company  were washed with waves of love.”         – Ibn Arabi Society Symposium Report

   “Not too long ago, Geralyn and I went to a Coleman Barks reading of Rumi in the East Bay.  People were lined up for blocks hoping to get in to see him and after hearing him read, I wondered WHY! … After experiencing Rumi through you and receiving your Divine Transmission of his work into the soul of my heart, I couldn’t understand why you are not more popular than he is!  I treasure what you Give, — it is more than a Blessing, — it is Holy and Sacred to one’s soul to have you be a Bridge to the Divine and feel the connection so profoundly.     I hope Coleman Barks can see you perform Rumi one day…. maybe you should invite him to one of your performances! ”                   -Mahriah (Califirnia)

 “A finely balanced choice, showing so many facets – an exquisitely cut diamond!”.                        -Jasmine, Forest Row 

                                   “Fire in the Heart: Rumi… The combinationof the skills of a master storyteller and the insight of a visionary poet ia an all too rare event. An evening with Duncan Mackintosh’s exhilarating interpretation of Rumi’s poetry and story was such an occasion.    If the role of the poet as teacher has become obscured in our society, the works of Rumi are just what is needed to bring that role back into focus. He teaches through fable and laughter, and in the lesson is learned effortlessly, yet permanently.   There is a divine madness about Rumi’s mystic perception of man’s condition which allows his thoughts to whirl dervish like, with an awesome intellectual and emotional agility.    He has a fearless, almost childlike ability to link together the most diverse ideas, and make it seem as if that connection were the most natural thing in the world.

   Duncan is a charismatic and accomplished storyteller, as was evident from the warmth and enthusiasm with which he was received- this was a welcome return for the experienced, and a revealing initiation for the uninitiated. He and Rumi are a well matched pair.” – Anthea Robertson, Aberdeen

 “The words of Rumi – and other Spirit poets – filled the space as a Divine Presence. Every poem, every story was spoken with such intensity of Presence that there seemed to be only One in the room : the audience and the speaker were in complete unity. Duncan’s artistry and his own passionate resonance and identification with the timeless Truth and wisdom in the words of these poets bathed and nourished us.”                                                                                 -Philippa Timewell, Edinburgh

“I am writing to you as I heard you share some of Rumi’s poetry at Alternatives, St.James Church, Piccadilly   I thought that you were absolutely amazing and I was moved to tears.  That was my introduction to the great Rumi and I really honestly couldn’t have asked for a better one.  So thank you so so much for that beautiful experience.”                                 -Johanna L 

“Thank you for the masterful performance! The wit and intimacy, ease and flow of your Presence in the rendering of Rumi made it truly a magical journey.”                    -Jackie

 “..just wanted to say how very much I enjoyed the Rumi – so deeply nourishing, your connection with this spirit touches a deep place of remembering and joy.”   – Lauren S

  “…thank you again for the deeply moving transmission on Saturday and for the very special workshop that followed. I found the day was enormously rewarding and it touched me deeply”    – Abigail

‘They say there’s something for everyone in Brighton, and this sold-out night celebrating the thirteenth century Gnostic sufi poet Rumi and his works proved that for me. Duncan Mackintosh acts as a mouthpiece for the long dead ‘awakened one’ and performs English translations of his poetry enthusiastically and passionately to a background of gentle strings. Mackintosh manages to skilfully thread Rumi’s prophetic poetry into his intriguing life story before ending with a duet with a friend and fellow Rumi reciter. Every member of the audience is absorbed, as Mackintosh proves that Rumi’s words still ring true to this day.’ – Brighton Festival Review: Fire In The Heart – Rumi Alive

“Dear Duncan, I was so impressed with your performance at Bowden House in May.
The igniting of souls that fain would seek but fear to become is such a valuable work I want to support you in it.  With thanks for your heart glowing performance.”  – Tobias

This session was billed as an introduction to the life, stories and poems of 13th century poet Jalāl ad-Dīn Muammad Rūmī, known commonly in the English-speaking world as Rumi. The setting was the grand main church of St John’s: a haven from Princes St and Lothian Road, both heaving with people in August; ‘a voice inside the beat knows you are tired’. Duncan Mackintosh is an accomplished and smooth performer, happily blurring the poems, stories and biographical details together with music.

The venue and the seamless integration of each piece spoke to the material: Rumi was slowly revealed to be a mystic, student of science and law, accomplished legislator and leader who left society to learn from a gnostic (original meaning: ‘direct knower of the truth’) and more. The unity of science and the arts, ordinarily  thought to be in conflict with each other, is apparent in his poetry. Many of the stories use alchemical and cooking metaphors, such as the cook speaking to the chickpea: ‘the rain you drank in the ground was for this.’

Mackintosh fluently shows that Rumi’s vast body of work has lost none of its relevance and potency (he left 35,000 verses, six large volumes). Persia in 1207, the time of Rumi’s birth, was a place situated in a time of destruction and turmoil, not unlike our own world, seen through the news each day. 

Though Mackintosh couldn’t cover all of Rumi’s life and work in an hour, what the audience took away was powerful in itself: a taste of a spirituality relevant to all religions and none, asking “where did I come from? What am I doing here? I am an astounding lucid confusion.”

A confusion that bears further study…”  Edinburgh Festival Review,  August, 2012

   “On the way up to the performance room I was glad to see a few familiar faces and realised with incredulity that the Duncan on the bill was in fact the Duncan who I had known as my ex-girlfriend’s speech and language tutor. He had once given me a CD, on which he was speaking the poetry of Rumi over Tabla and other instruments. It was some months later I had actually listened to it and realised what a gem it was, thereafter often engaging in acts of guerrilla poetry sharing, excitedly inserting my iPod headphones into the ears of friends without warning. To experience this beauty live and to witness Duncan’s animated and engaging delivery in such an intimate environment turned out to be an inspiring and laughter inducing event.

   I confess that even as a poet myself, and a student of the English language, there once existed in my mind a doubtful, critical voice, that in its darkest day, would see a “poetry evening” billed and would read instead, “boring, self-satisfying and watery endurance contest.” Perhaps you have been there yourself. But if any trace of this scepticism about the power of poetry still existed in the dim recesses of my consciousness, it ceased to exist this night. I listened as truth, ageless and timeless, in deep and booming tones, found me, and more than once brought tears of joy to my eyes.”  – Dyan Alfie