I heard about Rumi some years ago when NPR ran a story about Barks' book. Here is a link to that story. When you get to NPR's page, click the word 'download' found to the right of the gray, rectangular box. The story is fascinating and I highly recommend you give it a listen.
Rumi's poems are amazing. As Coleman Barks writes, "Rumi's poems are not well-trimmed, Persian miniature gardens. They are more like, as scholar Annemarie Schimmel says, the paintings in the Turkoman style - full of abrupt movement, odd flowers and bushes, demons and talking animals." If you enjoy being dazzled, astounded, consoled and inspired by language and ideas, check it out.