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The Tāherid and Saffārid Period

The foremost samples that have survived from the Persian literature in the Islamic period belong to the 3rd and 4th Centuries AH/9th and 10th Centuries AD. The only information that we have as regards the poets of the early Islamic centuries is a list of their names that was compiled by “Ofi” and later on by some other biographers, and particularly Ohadi Balyāni, in his book the “Arafāt al-Āsheqin” and by Āzar Begdeli in his book, the “Ātashqadah Fahārasi”. Besides, Hedāyat has also included the summaries of these two books in his own book, the “Majma’ al-Fas’hā”.p As per the narrations of the author of the book, the “Tārikh-e Sistān”, Mohammad bin Vasif Sagzi was the first Iranian poet to have praised “Ya’qub Layth Saffār” in a Persian poem. Thereafter, other poets like Bassām Kūrd and Mohammad bin Mokhlad Sagzi also followed suit and composed a Persian eulogy on Ya’qub Layth. Similarly, according to Ofi, Hanzalah Bādghaysi was the first poet of the Tāherid period while Firuz Mashreghi and Abu Salik Gorgāni were the poets of period of Amro Layth.p Only a few stray verses from the poems of this period have survived in some biography books today. These poems have no musical richness and their words are disharmonious while their messages are plain and unornamented. Not many poems from this period are available to us today. Even the poems that have been compiled by Lālezār do not exceed fifty verses in number while according to Shafi’i Kadkani, even the exact periods during which these poets lived are not known for certain. Moreover, there is doubt as to whether these poems had even been composed by them. According to Zarrinkub, the first poem to which we have access today from the Islamic period is the “Sorud-e Ahl-e Bokhārā” which belonged to the year 56 AH after which comes the song composed by Yazid bin Mafragh in the year 59 AH followed by another poem called the “Harrārah-ye Kudakāne Balkh” that belongs to the year 108 AH. From the illustrative point of view, the most important form of poetry used by some poets like Firuz Mashreghi was sharply and concretely figurative in nature. With the exception of Firuz Mashreghi and Hanzalah Bādghaysi, the works of the other poets of this period, and especially those of Mohammad bin Vasif Sagzi, are bereft of any illustrative value.


* source: Ghamar, Aryan "Iran Entry" The Great Islamic Encyclopedia. Ed. Kazem Musavi Bojnourdi.Tehran: The Center of Great Islamic Encyclopaedia , 1989-, V.10 ,pp.564 – 565.

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