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Persian Love Poetry
selected and translated Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis and Sheila R. Canby

published 2013 6 x 7.5 • 96 pages • full-color illus.
ISBN 9781566569552 • paperback • $15.00

Love is a major theme in Persian poetry and can be interpreted in various ways—as mystic love, the basis of the relationship between humans and God, or as passionate or affectionate love between lovers, husbands and wives, parents and children, family and friends, or even as patriotic love of Iran. The literary style and indeed the Persian language itself are floral and elaborate, but the themes differ little from our preoccupations with love and romance today.

This collection of extracts has been selected from the best of traditional and contemporary Persian poetry. Each poem is illustrated with a fine example of Persian art from the collections of the British Museum. With a brief introduction to the Persian poetic tradition and a short biographical note about each of the poets, this beautiful anthology is the perfect way to discover the treasures of Persian literature and art.

Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis is curator of ancient pre-Islamic coins in the Department of Coins and Medals in the British Museum. She is Secretary of the British Institute of Persian Studies and editor of their journal Iran, co-editor of The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Persia and the author of Persian Myths.

Sheila R. Canby is an Assistant Keeper specializing in Islamic Iran in the Department of Asia in the British Museum. Her publications include Persian Painting, Princes, Pots and Paladins and The Golden Age of Persian Art 1501-1722.

 Click here to read an excerpt. 

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