Saadi’s Qazals

As an introduction

One of the great poets of the world,  Saadi of Shiraz lived in l century Iran His writings both in verse and prose are highly cherished for elegance,  clarity and melody,  hence his epithet” “the most eloquent.”  Saadi enjoys world recognition for his masterpieces Golestan,  prose narratives and Bustan,  didactic verse narratives,  as well as his Divan of Lyrics.  There are some 600 love lyrics(ghazals)  in his Divan,  many of which rank with the most exalted in the history of world poetry.

In the genre of lyrics saadi is comparable only to hafez , who followed him a century later . saadi and  hafez  both elevated the genre of love lyrics to ultimate euphony , beauty and passion . in saadi , however , the beloved is so infused with esoteric symbolism that it may be interpreted as a coy and cruel woman, or the ruler at the time , or even God.

This new English edition of 20 lyrics of saadi aims to be precise and concise , wit euphony and modern idiom.

 

 

Saeed Saeedpoor

Nov . 2009

 


 

1

 

Darling heaven is the company of intimate friends an unbecoming fellow is indeed a fiend.

An unbecoming fellow is indeed a fiend.  Every breath you take in beloved company Cherish it for that’s the fruit of harmony.  Not every one with eyes,  ears and mouth is human Many a beast there are seeming like sons of Adam.  Human is she who is tempered with grace Or fine in the face,  the rest is a wasted race.  Never have I envied anything so much But for two affable faces that come in touch.  And the heartless one who turns blind to faces fair Advise him not,  for he turns a deaf ear.

No repose in the whole world , all concur , Except in the company of a tender friend.

Life is fine , wealth is dear , the body is noble yet a true companion has priority to all.

The miser worries after wealth all year long sa’adi delights in the friend’s visage all along!

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