Sheikh Musharrif ad-Din Saadi|
(1184 - 1291) Persia
Also spelled Muslih or Moslih Al-din Sa'di or Sadi or Sa'adi, his birthday is variously set between 1184 and 1213, and his death between 1283 and 1291, even though the dates we choose are the most commonly found in books.
The greatest persian poet, born at Shiraz, he traveled widely before settling there finally about 1256.
The most celebrated of his works are Bûstân (Orchard, ca. 1257), Khubsiyyat va majalis al-Hazl (Impure Things and Facetiae), and Gulistân (Rose Garden, 1258).
"Neither of my own free will cast I myself into the fire; for the chain of affection was laid upon my neck.
Saadi - From Flowers Culled from Persian Gardens (Manchester, 1872)
I was still at a distance when the fire began to glow, nor is this the moment that it was lighted up within me.
Who shall impute it to me as a fault, that I am enchanted by my friend, that I am content in casting myself at his feet?"
Some verse from Saadi's Bûstân:
When awake, there's mischief in his cheek and beauty-spot -
transl. by Wickens
And sleeping, you are fettered to the image of him.
Night and day you're in the sea of passion and flame
And know not, in your agitation, night from day.
There was in Marv a beautifully visaged physician,
Whose stature was a cypress in the garden of the hearth:
No pain reached him of the pain of wounded hearts.
A certain lad some days ago my heart did steal away,
And my affection for him is such that I no longer can endure;
Yet he's not once enquired of me with pleasant disposition:
See, then, what I must make my soul to suffer for his disdainful ways?
If you're a lover, you will learn
That only by undergoing death will you win ease from burning.
A man should not indulge his fancy with a rose
Who has a different nightingale at every dawning;
While if at every gathering he makes himself a candle,
Don't hang around him longer like a month....
See him not as heart-enchanting, like hur of Paradise,
For he on the reverse side is ugly as a ghoul.
Though you may kiss his feet, he'll give you no regard:
Though you be dust before him, no gratitude he'll show you.
Empty your head of brains, of coins your hands
If you would set your mind on other people's children
If you want to read some verse from Saadi's Gulistân, please go at his page in our book Famous Homoerotic Poems.