Selected Women Writing in Persian

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

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.


Translations from the Persian

Translations from the Persian 1

           for Turner and Suzanne


If that full moon were true and good,
how would that be?
And if he feared God as he should,
how would that be?

I’d like to stay with him a while -
If he decided that I could,
how would that be?

I long to kiss his lovely lips,
And if he said he thought I should,
how would that be?

Vis and Ramin (Penguin Classics)

A classic Persian tale of war and forbidden love in the eleventh century Believed by scholars to be the inspiration for Tristan and Isolde, Vis and Ramin was written between 1050 and 1055 and is considered the first epic Persian romance. At the heart of the story is Vis, daughter of the queen of Mah and promised to Mobad, King of Marv.

cover of Vis and Ramin (Penguin Classics)author: Fakhraddin Gorgani
ASIN or ISBN-10: 0143105620
binding: Paperback
list price: $18.00 USD
amazon price: $14.72 USD

The Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings

THE SHAHNAMEH (Book of Kings) is the national epic of Iran composed by the poet Ferdowsi between 980 and 1010 AD. It tells the story of ancient Persia, beginning in the mythic time of Creation and continuing forward to the Arab-Islamic invasion in the seventh century.

cover of The Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kingsauthor: Abolqasem Ferdowsi
ASIN or ISBN-10: 1933823410
binding: Hardcover
list price: $395.00 USD
amazon price: $395.00

At Home, and Far from Home: Poems on Iran and Persian Culture

Persian poetry, a literary heritage as rich as any in the world, found a brilliantly versatile voice when Dick Davis began his career as a translator several decades ago. Yet his English-language renderings ranging from epics such as The Shahnameh and Vis & Ramin to the concentrated wisdom of Rumi and Hafez--are just one measure of his gifts with words. Davis is also an acclaimed poet, with a voice and sensibility very much his own.

cover of At Home, and Far from Home: Poems on Iran and Persian Cultureauthor: Dick Davis
ASIN or ISBN-10: 1933823291
binding: Hardcover
list price: $29.95 USD
amazon price: $29.95

A Trick of Sunlight: Poems

In his new collection of poems, Dick Davis, the acclaimed author of Belonging, addresses themes that he has long worked with—travel, the experience of being a stranger, the clash of cultures, the vagaries of love, the pleasures and epiphanies of meaning that art allows us. But A Trick of Sunlight introduces a new theme that revolves around the idea of happiness—is it possible, must it be illusory, is its fleetingness an essential part of its nature so that disillusion is inevitable?

cover of A Trick of Sunlight: Poemsauthor: Dick Davis
ASIN or ISBN-10: 0804010897
binding: Paperback
list price: $14.95 USD
amazon price: $14.78 USD

The Conference of Birds (Penguin Classics)

Composed in the twelfth century in north-eastern Iran, Attar's great mystical poem is among the most significant of all works of Persian literature. A marvellous, allegorical rendering of the Islamic doctrine of Sufism an esoteric system concerned with the search for truth through God it describes the consequences of the conference of the birds of the world when they meet to begin the search for their ideal king, the Simorgh bird. On hearing that to find him they must undertake an arduous journey, the birds soon express their reservations to their leader, the hoopoe.

cover of The Conference of Birds (Penguin Classics)author: Farid ud-Din Attar
ASIN or ISBN-10: 0140444343
binding: Paperback
list price: $16.00 USD
amazon price: $14.42 USD

The Legend of Seyavash (Persian Classics)

The Legend of Seyavash comes from the middle section of the Shahnameh, Iran’s national epic by the poet Ferdowsi (c 940–c 1020) and presents a world of warfare, military prowess, romance, guile, and fierce tribal loyalty. Ferdowsi’s epic style and mastery of poetic organization, however, is matched by the psychological and ethical depth of his insight and his concerns for the primal struggle between good and evil, and man’s continual attempt to create justice and civilized order out of the chaos of human greed and cruelty.

cover of The Legend of Seyavash (Persian Classics)author: Abolqasem Ferdowsi
ASIN or ISBN-10: 0934211914
binding: Paperback
list price: $19.95 USD
amazon price: $18.76 USD

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