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Faces of Love: Hafez and the Poets of Shiraz [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 ...
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Faces of Love: Hafez and the Poets of Shiraz

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Overview

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 known 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-renowned authors and shows us the spiritual and secular aspects of love, in varieties embracing every aspect of the human heart.

A Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Title for 2013

For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
“Davis [is] widely acknowledged as the leading translator of Persian literature in our time…Faces of Love has made the Persian originals into real and moving English poems.”
—Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

"Davis has done something I’d thought impossible: given us an Englished Hafez whose verses retain an intimation of what all the fuss is about...this anthology is a revelation."
—Michael Robbins, The Chicago Tribune

"Radiant...Davis expertly elucidates the conventions these poets worked within and played against."
—A. E. Stallings, The Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year

"Dick Davis’s love affair with Persian literature has resulted in another marvelous offspring. Faces of Love reveals to us the mysterious connections between three vastly different fourteenth-century Persian poets. Through their eyes, Davis brings us that other Iran of poetry, lyrical beauty, diversity, and sensuality; only a lover and a poet could so passionately and meticulously capture the true spirit of these magnificent poems that transcend the boundaries of space and time."
—Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran

"For me, the most remarkable poetic translation project in the last twenty years has been Dick Davis’ ambitious recreations of classical Persian literature. In book after book, Davis has memorably translated one of the world’s great literatures into real English-language poetry. Finally, Davis has brought us new versions of Hafez and the great Shiraz poets. What can I say about this new book except: Yes! at last we meet one of the greatest lyric poets in history fully alive in English."
—Dana Gioia, former chairman of the NEA and author of Pity the Beautiful: Poems

"In this heady volume of wine, roses, nightingales, and forbidden trysts, Dick Davis shows us three faces of medieval Persian love poetry: the elusively mystical, the searingly personal, and the gleefully profane. For those of us unfamiliar with this world, the excitement is something akin to stumbling across a new Pindar, Sappho, and Catullus in a single volume—that is, if they were contemporaries and flourished in the same small town. This book is equally valuable for its wide-ranging introduction and pellucid and musical translations (quotable as English poems in their own right)—it would be worthwhile for either, but is a gem for both. Perhaps the most thrilling surprise contained here, however, is the debut in English (if not the West) of Jahan Malek Khatun, an intellectual princess whose bold and moving poems of heartbreak (often daring in their exploration of gender roles) and exile are a revelation. Her pen name means “the world” and indeed we feel that, in bringing these poems into our language, scholar, poet, and translator Dick Davis has opened a new world for us. One couldn’t write a better description of this volume than one of her own epigrams:
    Shiraz when spring is here—what pleasure equals this?
    With streams to sit by, wine to drink, and lips to kiss,
    With mingled sounds of drums and lutes and harps and flutes;
    Then, with a nice young lover near, Shiraz is bliss"

—A.E. Stallings, MacArthur Fellow and author of Olives

 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101627174
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/27/2013
  • Series: Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition Series
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 879,235
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Dick Davis is a translator, a poet, and a scholar of Persian literature who has published more than twenty books. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has taught at the University of California at Santa Barbara and Ohio State University. He lives in Columbus, Ohio.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 28, 2014

    Fresh Takes on Persian Poets

    Leave it to an Englishman: He masters a recondite ancient language, then uses his ingrained poetic skills to beautifully translate assorted literary titans. Meet Dick Davis, emeritus professor of Persian at Ohio State University, whose latest work offers a case in point. It's not enough that he translates verse by Hafez, Iran's most beloved poet; Jahan Malek Khatun, a hard-luck princess who followed in Hafez's footsteps; and Obayd-e Zakani, a notable "dissolute satirist." But Davis goes about his work nimbly, offering a product that is totally accessible for the 21st century reader. And not just accessible, but pure joy.
    Hafez was a souse in in 14th century Shiraz. Aside from his alcoholism, he was a loyal, practicing Muslim. But he was a court poet, too, and set in his ways, as we discover in this fragment: "Wine in my glass, and roses in/My arms,/Go, mind your own business/Preacher!" Later, Hafez admits that: "Fate drags me to the wine/shop's door--/and though I turn and/twist,/That's always where I finish up;/It's useless to resist." Finally, a note of ebullience trails off into the shadows: "Come boy, and pass the wine/around--/Love seemed a simple game/When I encountered it...but/then/The difficulties came/In." A marvelous book for a wide range of readers.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 26, 2014

    Fresh Takes On Persian Poets

    Leave it to an Englishman: He masters a recondite ancient language, then uses his ingrained poetic skills to beautifully translate assorted literary masters. Meet Dick Davis, emeritus professor of Persian at Ohio State University, whose latest work offers a case in point. It's not enough that he translates poetry by Hafez, Iran's most beloved versifier; Jahan Malek Khatun, a hard-luck princess who followed in Hafez's footsteps; and Obayd-e Zakani, a master "dissolute satirist." But Davis goes about his work nimbly, offering a product that is totally accessible for the 21st century reader. And not just accessible, but an unalloyed joy. Hafez was a souse in 14th century Shiraz. Except for his alcoholism, he was apparently a loyal Muslim. But he was a court poet,too, and set in his ways, as we discover in this fragment: "Wine in my glass, and roses in/My arms,/Go, mind your own business/Preacher!" Later, Hafez admits that: "Fate drags me to the wine/shop's door--/and though I turn and/twist,/That's always where I finish up;/it's useless to resist." Finally, a note of ebullience trails off into the shade: "Come boy, and pass the wine/around--/Love seemed a simple game/When I encountered it...but/then/The difficulties came!/In." A beautiful book for a wide range of readers.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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