Nur Jahan (1577 – 1645), was the favorite wife of the Mughal emperor Jahangir (1569 – 1627), and the aunt of Mumtaz Mahal, for whom the Taj Mahal was built. She was the most powerful woman in India during much of her husband’s reign. The language of the Mughal courts was Persian, and the writing of fluent Persian verse was an expected accomplishment of Mughal courtiers.
Dick Davis is Professor Emeritus of Persian at Ohio State University, where he was chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from 2002 to 2012. He has written scholarly works on both English and Persian literature, as well as eight volumes of his own poetry. His publications include volumes of poetry and verse translation chosen as books of the year by The Sunday Times (UK), 1989; The Daily Telegraph (UK), 1989; The Economist (UK), 2002; The Washington Post, 2010, and The Times Literary Supplement (UK), 2013.