Farsi Poems

abbasiWhen we start talking about poetry from the Middle East, and about Farsi poems in particular, I can’t help but think of Rumi. Now for those who are unfamiliar with poetry from that region of the world, let me start out by telling you about Rumi — one of the most influential poets among the Muslims of central Asia. Rumi, or as you might see written in some official poetry site, Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, is a 13th century poet from Persia. He was also a Sufi mystic and a well-respected theologian. Not only has his work in poetry spread throughout the region, but also impacting students of poetry around the world. His poems have been translated into multiple languages. He has even been considered as one of the most popular of poets, even in America. His major works include the Maṭnawīye Ma’nawī which means ‘spiritual couplets’, and Dīwān-e Kabīr, or ‘great work’. These collections of poems include tens of thousands of line of poetry.

by Rumi

Another Sufi mystic who has had a profound impact on the world of poetry is Ab’ul Hasan Yamīn ud-Dīn Khusrow , better known as Amir Khusrow. Much like Rumi, he was a 13th century poet, although Khusrow if often given more attention for his contributions to music, including qawwali (Sufi devotional music) and Hindustani classical music. He has even been credited with the invention of the sitar, although there is no solid evidence that he actually participated in the development of the fascinating instrument. He was a prolific writer and was at one point in his life appointed at the Royal Poet for more than seven of the member of the Delhi Sultanate. His work remains popular today among the peoples of Pakistan and India. Here is one of Khusrow’s many contributions to the world’s collection of poetry.

by Amir Khusrow

There are many contemporary Farsi-language poets in the world, but it is quite a challenge to find their works translated into English. Fortunately, the world of the internet makes finding such poets and their works possible. As I was scanning through various websites, I came upon some poems written by Rira Abbasi. She was born in 1963 in Khorram-abad, Iran. Abbasi is one of the better known poets and writers of Iran’s new generation of literary talents. When she was just 16, she had assembled a collection of poems with the name Noghle Baeei (Popcorn). However that collection was lost because of her family’s fanaticism. Some years later, Abbasi again began composing poetry and writing fiction. She has three collections of poems, one collection of short stories and four collections of children stories. Here is an interesting short poem that provides some insight into life for many people living in that region of the world.

Me or the Mouse
by Rira Abbasi

Once again, I hope you’ve enjoyed this venture into a culture for which most people have little true exposure. Whether 13th century or modern day, poems written by speakers of the Farsi language have brought us some incredibly beautiful and thought provoking lines of verse.

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