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July 03, 2006


Translated by whom?

Good question, and thanks for catching it. I'll try to dig it up.


OK, here's what I've found through Google:

Here's a link to the full text by Sa'adi on a Hafiz site (no translation acknowledgment):


I do remember putting another Hafiz poem up on this site... here:


OK, here's what else I found:

Sa'adi is the writer of the Persian text, although there are references to other translators listed below:

John Lang and Sadi of Shiraz - General Notes
MARGIN: Life & Letters in Early Australia, Nov, 2003

A few years ago the Mulini Published a small group of poems translated from the Persian written in the 13th century by Sadi of Shiraz. They were called the Rose Garden and were translated by John Lang who was a superb linguist fluent in Hindi Latin, Greek, French and German to name but a few of his languages. The tales written in verse are an amusing collection.

Recently I was lent a book which was full of references to many botanical and garden writers written in a light hearted fashion It was called Of Flowers and a Village. An entertainment for flower lovers by Wilfrid Blunt. Yes there is reference to Sadi of Shiraz but not to John Lang. This is what Blunt wrote :

Last week in Oxford I bought at Blackwell's, for a sum so small
that I'd hate Sir Basil to know, a sixteenth century manuscript
of Sadi's Gulistan, or 'Rose Garden'--that most popular of all
Persian books. The miniatures in it, though damaged are lovely; one
is a chenar (oriental plane) that would have pleased Xerxes [who
fell in love with one mentioned earlier] and in another a youth who
plucks a spray of almond blossom from a tree that's enchantingly
patterned against a golden sky. At the same time I bought
Eastwick's translation first published in 1852. [John Lang
published his translations in 1845 in India].

The Gulistan is a collection of moral tales written by Sadi of
Shiraz in the thirteenth century. In his preface he tells how, 'it
being the season of spring, when the asperity of winter was
mitigated and the time of the roses' rich display had arrived', he
decided to write a book; I have copied out a bit of it for you
because I liked it so much.

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