Acclaimed translator Dick Davis breathes new life into the timeless works of three masters of 14th-century Persian literature. Together, Hafez, a giant of world literature; Jahan Malek Khatun, an eloquent princess; and Obayd-e Zakani, a dissolute satirist, represent one of the most remarkable literary flowerings of any era. All three lived in the famed city of Shiraz, a provincial capital of south-central Iran, and all three drew support from arts-loving rulers during a time better kwn for its violence than its creative brilliance. Here Dick Davis, an award-winning poet widely considered 'our finest translator of Persian poetry' (The Times Literary Supplement), presents a diverse selection of some of the best poems by these world-rewned authors and shows us the spiritual and secular aspects of love, in varieties embracing every aspect of the human heart. 'The translations of all three poets are superb, and they open up a new world even for those who kw Persian well. Highly recommended.' W. L. Hanaway, Choice 'Jahan Malek Khatun's touching and very personal poems are a revelation.' David Blow, Times Literary Supplement 'Davis brings us that other Iran of poetry, lyrical beauty, diversity, and sensuality.' Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran 'In Hafez, the long vertuosic Davis has found his ideal foil, the urbane poet offering an intimate glass of wine, while inviting, 'With art's initiates undo your collar.'' Brad Gooch, Newsweek/The Daily Beast
Dick Davis is the foremost English-speaking scholar of medieval Persian poetry now working in the West. He read English at Cambridge, lived in Iran for eight years (where he met and married his Iranian wife Afkham Darbandi), then completed a PhD in Medieval Persian Literature at the University of Manchester. He has resided for extended periods in both Greece and Italy (his translations include works from Italian), and has taught at both the University of California and at Ohio State University, where he was for nine years Professor of Persian and Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages, retiring from that position in 2012. In all, he has published more than twenty books, including the award-winning poetry collections Seeing the World and Belonging. His translations include Ferdowsi's Shahnameh: the Persian Book of Kings and Farid ud-Din Attar's The Conference of the Birds. The Times Literary Supplement has called him 'our finest translator of Persian poetry'.