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(Abode of Spring)
ISBN : 9781619521513
Author : A Literal Translation from the Persian by Jami
Year of Publishing : 2020
Binding : Hard Bound
Publisher : Impact Global Publishing Inc. USA
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“Sa’di’s Gulistan, or Rose Garden, (finished a.d. 1258) is a work well known, but by expurgated editions only. It was followed in A.D. 1334 by a work of the same nature, entitled The Nigaristan, or, Picture Gallery, by Mu’in-uddin Jawini, which has not yet been translated into any European language. And this, again, was followed by a similar work in A.D. 1487, called The Beharistan, or Abode of Spring, by the great Persian poet Nur-uddin Abdur otherwise known as Jami.
Jami has been generally called the last great poet and mystic of Persia, and is said to have combined the moral tone of Sa’di with the lofty aspirations of Jalal-uddin Rumi; the graceful ease of Hafiz with the deep pathos of Nizami. He devoted his whole life to literature, and was endowed with such extensive learning that he was supposed to be a complete master of the Persian language, in which he was certainly one of the most gifted and productive of writers. He was the author of many works, not only in poetry, but also in prose. The total number is said to amount to forty-five or fifty.
The Beharistan, or Abode of Spring, is divided into eight chapters, called gardens, which, the author states, he had composed, in the first instance, for the instruction of his own son. The beginning is written entirely in the style of the mysticism of the Sufis, and from it some slight ideas may be gathered about their tenets; gradually, however, anecdotes are introduced on a variety of subjects, but in the third garden they are mostly about kings, and some of these are excellent. The fourth garden deals with the praises of liberality, embodied in little stories, several of which appear to be founded on actual events, like those of the preceding chapter, and may also, on that score, be considered interesting. The fifth garden is entirely on love affairs, from which something may be learned of the customs and opinions in vogue among the people concerning such matters, and. there is scarcely anything which will greatly shock the taste of European readers. The sixth garden has been already done into English by Mr. C. G. Wilson, under the title of “Persian Wit and Humour.” It is the only chapter of the work that has as yet appeared in English in any shape, but is not so fully or so faithfully rendered as the present translation. The seventh garden may be called a brief anthology of thirty-five poets, containing specimens of their compositions, and will, perhaps, be one of the most pleasing portions of this little book, but the eighth, or last garden, has also its attractions, and consists entirely of animal fables, twenty-three in number. It is hoped that the 175 foot-notes appended to this translation will prove acceptable.” – Extract from Translator’s Introduction.