The Hafez Poems of Gertrude Bell: With the Original Persian on the Facing Page

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Iranbooks, 1995 - Poetry - 176 pages
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"Miss Bells [translations] are true poetry of a very high order and, with perhaps the single exception of FitzGerald's paraphrase of the Quatrains of Omar Khayyam, are probably the finest and most truly poetical renderings of any Persian poet ever produced in the English language..." -- Edward G Browne. "No book has been so reverenced, no poet so celebrated, and no verse so cherished as Hafez's ghazals. Auguries from his divan have decided the fates of individuals and empires, rebels and heretics as well as the pious have died with lines by Hafez on their lips, and religious and philosophic arguments have been won by apt quotation of a hemistich. Hafez sang a rare blend of human and mystic love so balanced, proportioned, and contrived with artful ease that it is impossible to separate the one from the other; and rhetorical artifice is so delicately woven into the fabric of wisdom and mysticism that it imparts a freshness to ideas..." -- Wheeler M Thackston.

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Translators Introduction

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About the author (1995)

Gertrude Bell Scholar, historian, linguist, archaelogist, photogrpher, secret service agent and traveller, Gerturde Bell (1868-1926) was a hugely significant figure. Her early travels were made in Europe and Persia; she made two round-the-world trips (1897-8 and 1902-3), while her climbing exploits in the Alps from 1899-1904 earned her renown as a mountaineer. Like other British "orientalists" of the early 20th century, she explored the Ottoman Empire during and after World War I and was hugely instrumental in the post-war reconfiguration of the Arab states in the Middle East. As Political Officer, and then as Oriental Secretary to the Hight Commissioner in Baghdad, she was a prime mover in creating the new state of Iraq and establishing a constitutional monarchy there with a parliament, civil service and legal system. As Honorary Director of Antiquities in Iraq, she established the Iraq Museum in Baghadad.

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