Read Faces of Love by Hafez Jahan Malek Khatun Obayd-e Zakani Dick Davis Online


Acclaimed translator Dick Davis breathes new life into the timeless works of three masters of fourteenth-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,Acclaimed translator Dick Davis breathes new life into the timeless works of three masters of fourteenth-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 2013Dick 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....

Title : Faces of Love
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ISBN : 9780143107286
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Faces of Love Reviews

  • Nose in a book (Kate)
    2019-04-14 16:05

    Davis has written a good (extensive but not dull) introduction to the history and the poets, as well as the poetry. There are also end notes giving plenty of further analysis of the poems without interrupting the reading of the poems themselves.I especially appreciated Davis’ notes on his translation, with explanations of the challenges (such as recreating the ancient styles of verse used), the things he was able to recreate in English and the things that are lost. I also enjoyed the appendix of three tongue-in-cheek poems Davis wrote about the difficulty of translating Hafez! I learned a lot, for instance that Persian pronouns do not distinguish between male and female, so most of the time it isn’t clear whether the subject of a poem is male or female. (From historical records and those poems that do make it clear – by referencing body parts, for example – we know that it was common for poets of the time to write admiringly of attractive youths of both genders.) It was also common (as with some western poets of a similar era) for references to a person to mean both a flesh-and-blood person and God, or to switch between the two.Read my full review at:

  • Yasmin
    2019-04-10 09:47

    Beautiful is what I think of this book. In the long introduction the translator muses on what the poets aimed for in their poetry, allegorical or...? In the days of these three poets everyone wrote poetry to read aloud. Their audience were listeners only, no one would rush out to Chapters to buy a copy. How best to reach an audience and please themselves most? By sound. Poetry for many many years was governed by how it sounded and not what message(s) it conveyed. Poetry was dictated on the merits of sound. Poetry could be chanted or poetry could be sung. In the readings or rather chanting of the Q'uran out loud it sounds like singing, however, is called chanting in order to be accepted by the more orthodox Muslims that believe music is forbidden. But in a world where illiteracy is high what better way to reach far and wide than to reach out by the ear? Therefore the quality of the written word is how the tongue forms them. At a time as well when great store was held by oral traditions poetry flourished. Children any where at any social class were taught to behave or conduct themselves by stories told. To advertise businesses orally drew the most people whether it was tales of sea adventures or more military battle or even to know what happened in the kingdom gossip, fabricated stories and other ways kept people informed, rightly or wrongly. The age of Hafez, Jahan Malek Khatun and Obayd-e Zakani wass the age of the Voice. Oscar Wilde believed that poetry was the best when it sounded beautifully, it didn't matter how it looked on the page or what was said in the poem, how it sounded was the important thing. Now we have poetry jams and we still have to speak aloud, but now we focus on image relation more than actual sound. Altho' dub poetry is a sounded related modem it is not the flow of words in relation to each other. But everything evolves and keeps coming round again, and everything is ageless. The poems in this book can fit into any time period and to any kind of audience Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, secular, atheist, whatever. The translator also suggests that the poets are against Sufis, but in these poems don't suggest that. What it does suggest is that Hafez and Jahan Khatun had the same kind of influence and not so for Zakani. Indeed one believes that Dick Davis favoured Hafez most as there are more of his poems than Khatun and Zakani. Out of the three I have no favourites, they are all equally good, altho' Zakani's are coarse in nature.

  • George Mitton
    2019-04-20 11:08

    There is a long-standing debate about how to interpret Hafez, specifically whether to interpret his talk of wine in figurative terms - as a metaphor for such things as divine love - or literally, so that wine really means wine. I understand that in Iran, the figurative interpretation has been dominant for centuries, and most of the first English translators followed their example. In recent years, translators such as Dick Davies have opted for the literal interpretation, feeling that the poetry is livelier, more honest, more authentic and, quite frankly, more fun if understood this way.This question of interpretation may explain why some readers have such a hostile view of this book. Davies' approach has the effect of turning conventional wisdom on its head, and making a revered cultural figure seem rather dissolute. (Note that as well as drinking a lot of wine, Hafez talks a lot about his love for young boys).Davis explains some of these issues very well in his introduction, which by itself is worth buying the book for, I'd say.For English readers like me, who do not have the baggage of a received interpretation to deal with, I found these poems a joy. I also loved the obscene poems of Obayd-e Zakani which have provoked the ire of some of the other commenters. Irreverent, satirical and very bawdy - rather like Shakespeare.To sum up, if you are open-minded and interested in a modern take on Persian poetry, I know of no better volume.

  • Miroku Nemeth
    2019-04-14 14:52

    The emphasis on vulgarity and pederasty is unnecessary except if one understands that perhaps the author has an agenda. The Hafez poems were tolerable, but not remarkable, the poems of Jahan Malek Khatun were the best of the group, and the poems of Obayd-e-Zakani in his translation and perhaps the orginal were completely obscene, talking of "pussies" and "fucking" boys (his words).He calls into question the idea that Hafez was a Sufi poet, undermines him as a religious figure, tries to portray him as have literal (not figurative) relationships with wine-drinking, boys, etc. He portrays him (and he says this repeatedly) as being against Sufis and having rejected it. He just gathers much which is foul to buttress his own claims and interests. And his own poetry has some moments but others are just horrible. The last poet should not have been included. His poetry, tells whatever boy or whore he addresses to make a pilgrimage not to the Kaaba, but to his "prick" and that will be a better ride and fulfill his/her religious need. It's that perverse.If you are looking for Sufi poetry, look elsewhere. I can't recommend this book. Huge letdown, especially after watching an interview with the author and reading the publisher's blurbs.

  • Tina
    2019-04-05 11:00

    "I didn't know my value then, when IWas young, so long ago;And now that I have played my part out here,What is it that I know?I know that, now that both of them have gone,Life's good and bad passed byAs quickly in my youth as dawn's first breezeForsakes the morning sky.How many ardent birds of longing thenWere lured down from the airBy my two ringlets' curls and coils, to beHeld trapped and helpless there!And in youth's lovely orchard then I raisedMy head as prettily,As gracefully, above the greensward there,As any cypress tree;Until, with charming partners to oppose me,I took up lovers' chess,And lost so many of love's pieces toMy partners' handsomeness --And then how often on the spacious fieldOf beauty I urged onMy hopeful heart's untiring steed, alwaysPursuing what was gone.Now, as no shoots or leaves remain to meFrom youth, and youth's delight,I fit myself in my old age to faceThe darkness of the night."--Jahan Malek KhatunFeels directly related to all the YA I read.

  • Jonathan Widell
    2019-04-20 18:03

    An uneven collection of poems of three different Medieval poets from Shiraz in Iran. The translator Dick Davis argues in the long introduction that Hafez is not all about God but about love and wine just as the poems say they are. Davis substantiates this reading by including the two other inferior but much more directly sexual and in some cases lavatorial poets in the collection. Uneven but interesting for the very reason of including those two less known poets and making no bones about the mundane imagery.

  • Laure
    2019-04-12 15:59

    I was searching for a good English translation of Hafez and this author was recommended both for his poetic judgement and his knowledge of Persian. It was an additional benefit that the two other Persian poets were included. I enjoyed the contrast between them all and found the beginning discussion on translation challenges fascinating.

  • Sara Qattaly
    2019-04-09 17:47

    گفتم غم تو دارم گفتا غمت سر آید

  • M. Jane Colette
    2019-04-22 15:53

    I read and re-read this translation of three poets from Shiraz half a dozen times while on a beach in Cuba--and each time, I loved it more. Dick Davis, a fine poet in his own right, does a wonderful job of the challenging-to-translate Hafez, and he's provided some of my new favourite versions of the Persian master's poems here, as well as introduced me to some pieces I haven't experienced in English before.The decision to combine the poetry of the masterful Hafez with the virtually unknown Jahan Malek Khatun, and the lesser-known (particularly in the West) Obayd-e-Zakani is interesting... In a way, it is a disservice to the two other poets. Compared to Hafez, they look infantile (that is my prejudice speaking, in part: I think Hafez has no equal--but if you read the poems, and contrast Jahan in particular against Hafez, I think you will agree). Jahan in particular comes off looking weak. Davis addresses his choice in the introduction--which is fantastic--and while I am very grateful for his efforts in introducing me (and some of my Persian friends!) to Jahan Malek Khatun through this work, it does mean that we have one immortal poet flanked by less striking work.Still, with all of that, I give the book five stars. Because, Hafez. Because, the translations are good. Because Obayd is hilarious. And Jahan is a woman poet, writing in the already-Islamic, very patriarchal medieval Iran.

  • Rikke
    2019-03-28 12:03

    “To cage a songbird with so sweet A voice is wrong –I'll fly to paradise's gardenWhere I belong.” - HafezThis was such a fascinating poetry collection with poems I had never read, never even heard of before. It is beautiful to catch a glimpse of a world one have never known through poetry; through strong voices, wordplay and pretty verses.The foreword to this anthology provided me with some useful context before reading the actual poems themselves. I would not have made much of them, would not have understood them even vaguely, if I had simply skipped the foreword and gone straight to the poems. They are difficult and different from anything I've ever read."Faces of Love" consist of poetry from three different authors; the celebrated Hafez, the lyrical princess Jahan Malek Khatun and the provocative satirist Obayd-e Zakani.While I did enjoy Obayd-e Zakini's satire and the symbolism of Hafez, I found their poems about wine and enjoyment rather repetitive. For me, Jahan Malek Khatun's poetry was the most interesting part about this collection, as her poems about love and suffering make a beautiful contrast. “My poor heart dreamed of youSo earnestly it seems,Your image turned my fleshInto the stuff of dreams.” - Jahan Malek Khatun

  • Jbondandrews
    2019-04-20 15:02

    I really enjoyed reading the Face of Love. Though I wish there had been a few more poems by Jahan. The poems were very beautiful, of the three poets it is impossible to chose one poet over the other two.

  • Diane
    2019-03-29 17:04

    This book contains poetry by three medieval Iranians from the city of Shiraz: Hafez, one of the most famous Persian poets, a young Persian princess, and a dissolute court poet. The book provided a good introduction to the literature of the period.

  • William
    2019-04-08 17:47

    Very nice translations of the poetry of Hafez, although the verses probably loose the music of the original Persian.

  • Tracy
    2019-04-07 12:06

    ...there are many other translations out there that pack a more potent punch.

  • Winter Sophia Rose
    2019-04-13 15:42

    Intense, Fascinating, Beautiful Read!

  • Jessie B.
    2019-04-11 16:49

    A fascinating look at the poetry of medieval Iran.

  • Shaymaq
    2019-04-12 14:49

    Love it

  • Khurram Janjua
    2019-04-17 14:10

    If you would like a proper translation for these 3 poets. I DO NOT recommend this book.