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Pearls of Persia: The Philosophical Poetry of Nasir-i Khusraw
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Nasir-i Khusraw is a major literary figure in medieval Persian culture. He was a Muslim philosopher, poet, travel writer, and Ismaili da'i who lived a thousand years ago in the lands known today as Afghanistan, Iran, and Tajikistan. Although known in the West mainly for his Safarnama, or travelogue, which describes his seven-year journey from Khurasan, in the eastern Islamic lands, to Cairo, the city of the Fatimid imam-caliphs, his poetry and ideas are less familiar. Yet, over the centuries, Persian-speaking lands have consistently ranked him as one of the finest poets of all time. But today, even among those who know Nasir-i Khusraw's poetry, few understand the philosophical and Ismaili concepts the poet expounds. And while mystical and epic genres of Persian poetry are memorized and studied, the genre of philosophical poetry in Persian remains basically unexplored. This collection of studies seeks to redress the balance. Originally presented at a conference at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London in 2005 to commemorate the millenary of Nasir-i Khusraw's birth, the papers published here examine his poetry both for philosophical meaning and poetic method. They address a variety of topics, ranging from metaphysics, cosmology, and ontology to prophecy, as well as rhythm and structure, and analysis of individual poems and authorship.
|Publisher||I. B. Tauris|
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