Poetry. Middle Eastern Studies. Translated by Geoffrey Squires. HAFEZ: TRANSLATIONS AND INTERPRETATIONS OF THE GHAZALS (Miami University Press, 2014), also translated by Geoffrey Squires, won the 2014 Lois Roth Persian Translation Prize awarded by the American Institute of Iranian Studies. In this volume of translations of another of the major figures of Persian poetry, Squires brings the same combination of poetic skill and scholarly precision to the task. The book traces the changing and sometimes challenging relationship between the scholarly Rumi and the unpredictable dervish Shams, who suddenly appeared in his life, and through it the deepening of Rumi's experience of love and his insight into mysticism. We also get occasional glimpses of Rumi the man and a sense of the times in which he lived. There are detailed notes on the poems and a groundbreaking discussion of Text and Context.
"The massive volume of Rumi's DIVAN-E SHAMS resembles a vast field of wild flora in which the person in search of flowers to make a bouquet can easily become confused and lost. Geoffrey Squires has not only accomplished the daunting task of picking those flowers, but also domesticating them for the garden of English poetry, and has miraculously managed to retain their original scent and hue. With his free verse renditions, in these translations, he beautifully captures the whirling dance of Rumi's poetic language and music."—M. R. Ghanoonparvar
"This book should consolidate Squires' international reputation as one of the most accomplished and sensitive translators of ancient poetry—both Persian and Irish—for the modern reader."—Augustus Young
Jalal-Uddin Rumi (1207-1273) is widely regarded as the greatest of Persia's mystical poets. He was born near Balkh in Afghanistan but subsequently moved through Iran, Iraq, and Syria to Konya in Turkey where he and his family found refuge from the invading Mongols. There he acquired a reputation as a pious and profound scholar and teacher, but his life was turned upside down by a meeting with a wandering dervish, Shams-e Tabrizi, who challenged many of his ideas and practices. His relationship with, and ultimate separation from, Shams found expression in the thousands of lyrical and mystical ghazals in the Divan-e Shams-e Tabrizi, a selection of which have been translated by Geoffrey Squires in RUMI: POEMS FROM THE DIVAN-E SHAMS (Miami University Press, 2020). He is best known for his didactic, mystical masterpiece, The Masnavi, and his teachings live on in Turkey through the Mevlevi mystical order and more widely through other Sufi organizations and his works both in Persian and in translation.
Geoffrey Squires is an Irish poet who was educated at the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh. After living and working in various countries, including three years in Iran, he settled in England and is now retired and living in Yorkshire. His poetry has been collected in Untitled and Other Poems (2004) and Abstract Lyrics and Other Poems (2012), both published by Wild Honey Press in Ireland. Five volumes of his poetry have recently been published in bilingual editions by Editions Unes in France. His books of translations include RUMI: POEMS FROM THE DIVAN-E SHAMS (Miami University Press, 2020) and HAFEZ: TRANSLATIONS AND INTERPRETATIONS OF THE GHAZALS (Miami University Press, 2014), the latter of which was awarded the 2014 Lois Roth annual translation prize of the American Institute of Iranian Studies. He has also published translations of early Irish poetry from 600-1200 in My News for You (Shearsman Books, 2015).
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