Anthologies

Quatrains have been composed by innumerable poets, both under their own name and anonymously. To compile an inventory of this huge output one would have to go beyond the divans and other collections devoted to a single author, and examine the anthologies of Persian poetry. Throughout the centuries, anthologies have been compiled in various forms.26 A special category among these works are the tazkiras ('Memoirs') which also contain information on the lives of the poets. From this vast literature only one work can be mentioned here: Riyaz al-'arifin

('The Pastures of the Mystics'), compiled in 1844 by Riza-Quli Khan Hidayat (1800-71), the last great anthologist in the traditional style. This anthology is exclusively devoted to Sufi saints who were also renowned as poets. Designed on more modern lines is Hoceyne Azad's Gulzar-i ma'rifat ('The Rosegarden of understanding'), a collection of 470 mystical

quatrains accompanied by French translations.

Other important sources are the mystical prose texts which contain poetical quotations, often in the form of ruba'Iyat. As we have seen already, works like Ibn Munavvar's hagiography and Najm ad-Din Daya's Mirsad al-'ibad provide valuable information on the early stage of the history of the Persian quatrain. A long list of other titles could be added, for example Ahmad Ghazall's Savanih, a treatise of the theory of love, Maybudl's mystical commentary on the Koran, and the works of the great mystic ' Ayn al-Quzat HamadanI, who all lived in the first half of the twelfth century.

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