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Andrew Harvey, the translator of the present and some other of Rumi's 5000-odd poems, wrote in his revelatory book on this thirteenth century Sufi, The Way of Passion: "André Malraux said that if the twenty-first century is to be, it will have to be religious. And Teilhard de Chardin, just before he died, said, 'Humankind is being brought to a moment where it will have to decide between suicide and adoration.'" Rumi is one of the greatest mystic poets in the world. He is also, I believe, of all the great poets and religious masters that we have, the supreme master of adoration. So, at this time, when we need to be inspired to love the world that we are in the midst of destroying, when we have forgotten our divine identity and its ecstacies and responsibilities, a guide and witness like Rumi to the glory of God and the soul and to the necessity of a religion of love that transcends all dogmas to embrace the entire creation, is beyond price. This setting of How could the soul not take flight for double choir is, as we move into the next millennium, a small hommage to Rumi and to his vision. It was commissioned by and for the National Youth Choir of Great Britain.