Persian Poetry

Classical Poems:

Persian aptitude for versifying everyday expressions is so strong that one can encounter poetry in almost every Persian classical works, i.e. science, literature, or metaphysics.
Many of Avicenna’s medical writings are known to be versified.
Some most important classical Persian poets are:
Roodaki (10th. century)
Ferdowsi (10th. century)
Farokhi Sistani(11th. century)
Manucheri Damghani (11th. century)
Baba Taher (11th. century)
Naser Khosro (11th. century)
Khyyam (12 th. century)
Sa’naee (12th. century)
Anvari (12th. century)
Khaghani (12th. century)
Nezami (12th. century)
At’tar (12th. century)
Molavi / Rumi (13th. century)
Sa’di (13th. century)
Khajo-e- Kermani (14th. century)
Obeid-e-Zakani (14th. century)
Hafiz (14th. century)

By Persian Poet Hafiz (birth place Shiraz, d. 1325 a. d.)

Though I am old and decrepit and weak
My youth returns to me every time your name I speak.
Thank God that whatever my heart ever desired
God gave me that, and more than I ever could seek.
Fate directs my path to the tavern, in life.
Though many times I stepped from peak to peak.
Last night came good news that said, O Hafiz
I forgive all your errs, even though may be bleak

Of her black hair I complain, O ask me not
Cause of her, lost I remain, O ask me not.
In the hope of loyalty, nobody leaves his heart faith
I repent, my deeds disdain, O ask me not.
A sip of wine never cause misdeed or grief
Ignorant put me through so much pain, O ask me not.
O pious one, pass me by, ’cause this red wine
Makes your faith vain, drives you insane, ask me not.
I asked the ball of heavens, what is my role on this plane?
In the polo game of life I entertain, O ask me not.
I asked, with your hair whose blood you drain?
By God, this story is a long chain, O ask me not.

In the secret house of joy I idolize my desire
From your hair and face, my feet are on fire.
I am a dervish, a lover, I drink sing out aloud
Angelic Beauty, my name and fame inspire.
If you walk towards the house of the lovers
I greet you with candy, wine and music of lyre.
O Hafiz, happiness pain both expire
I’d better for peace of mind, inquire

For years I followed the drunken trail
Until my wisdom put greed in jail.
From my ashes, like Phoenix I rose
With Solomon’s bird ended this tale.
Like Hafiz, I gained all my good habits
From the commandments, holy books entail.
If I am Master of poetic verse and scale
Wonder not, for years I served the Master of the veil
Hafez’s tomb and gardens – Shiraz

Elaborate Seljuk-style symmetry of the ceiling
Hafez’s mausoleum by night

By Persian Poet Rumi / Molavi (birth place Balkh, north-eastern Persia (now Afghanistan, d. 1273 a. d.)

My place is the no-place
My image is without face
Neither of body nor the soul
I am of the Divine Whole.

Why think this ethereal thing is the soul
And a nugget of gold a treasured goal?
In search of gold, digging deep, why?
Thinking the earth to be the sky
Why consider ghastly temptations
To be the beauty of the nations?
Why like a worm crawl with earthly lust
And consider lovers lower than dust?

Come along, come along, the fields are a-flower
Come along, come along; it’s the lover’s hour.
Come along, all at once, every soul and all the world
Bathe yourselves in the sun’s golden arrows’ shower.
Mock the crone who is left without a companion
Weep for the lonesome he, who has left his lover.
Everyone must rise up, and spread the news,
Mad man has cut his chain and escaped the tower.
Beat the drums without care, and remain speechless,
Mind and heart fled long before the soul fled the bower.
What a day, what a day, it feels like Judgment Day,
Impotent is our life’s book, has lost its very power.
Be silent, be silent, keep the veil, keep the veil,
Go for the sweet grapes, let go of the sour.

Go and die, go and die,
For this love go and die,
When in this love you die
You will let spirits fly.
Go and die, go and die,
Fear no death, don’t be shy
When in this dust you lie
Your spirit will soar up high.
Go and die, go and die,
Let this existence pass by
This existence is your tie
And prisoners you and I.
With an axe cut the tie
And this, your prison, defy
When your chains you untie
With Kings, identify.
Go and die, go and die,
The handsome King satisfy
For the Lord when you die
Your glories multiply.
Go and die, go and die,
Like the tearful clouds, cry
When the cloud has run dry
You are the light of the eye.
Silence try, silence try
As close as you get to die
All your life, you apply
Your sigh and silence deny.
The Sufi mystic and poet: Rumi aka Molavi

By Persian Poet Sa’di (birth place Shiraz, d. 1291 a. d.)
Maxima, Stories, and poems

Of one Essence is the human race,
thus has Creation put the Base;
One Limb impacted is sufficient,
For all Others to feel the Mace.”

Laudation to the God of majesty and glory! Obedience to him is a cause of approach and gratitude in increase of benefits. Every inhalation of the breath prolongs life and every expiration of it gladdens our nature; wherefore every breath confers two benefits and for every benefit gratitude is due.

If thou possessest not the perfection of excellence
It is best to keep thy tongue within thy mouth.
Disgrace is brought on a man by his tongue.
A walnut, having no kernel, will be light.

A fool was trying to teach a donkey,
Spending all his time and efforts in the task,
A sage observed: ‘O ignorant man, what sayest thou?
Fear blame from the censorious in this vain attempt.
A brute cannot learn speech from thee.
Learn thou silence from a brute’

O thou who desirest to reach the station
Take my advice and learn patience.
An Arab hoarse gallops twice in a race
A camel ambles gently night and day.

The ill-wishing eye, be it torn out
Sees only defects in his virtue.
But if thou possessest one virtue and seventy faults
A friend sees nothing except that virtue
‘Saadiyeh’ at night

By Persian Poet and mathematician Omar Khayyam
(birth place Nishapur, d. 1222 a. d.)

Before us too the sun did set and rise,
The rolling heavens ran their enterprise.
Wherever you stop on this ancient ground
There was a darling’s pupil of the eyes.

My entrance advanced not the universe,
My exit improved not its elegance.
And I have yet to hear someone explain
What for my departure, why my entrance?

Wherever you go in the land of God
Flowers bloom from kingly blood
Violet with its colorful shroud
Was a beauty mole on a face once proud

Though exquisite is my scent and feature,
Tulip-soft my face, like cypress slender,
I wonder why in this amusement ground
Was I arrayed by Eternal Painter

At this rolling firmament we wonder,
Our fancy’s lantern to it we transfer.
Suppose the sun is lamp, cosmos its shade-
Phantoms are we who inside it wander.

Astral bodies in this dome dwelling
Preoccupy the wisest men of learning.
Beware, do not lose track of reason-
Astrologers are themselves wondering.

Since the world shall end in doom,
Enjoy now that you’re in bloom!

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