Love is everywhere in Persian poetry and can be interpreted in various ways: as mystic love, the basis of the relationship between humans and God; as passionate or affectionate love between lovers, husbands and wives, parents and children, family and friends; even as patriotic love for 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.
With a brief introduction to the Persian poetic tradition and a short biographical note about each of the major poets, this anthology is an ideal introduction to Persian literature and art. The book is illustrated throughout with images from the British Museum collection.
Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis is curator of Middle Eastern coins at the British Museum. She is the co-author of From Persepolis to the Punjab (British Museum Press) and Persian Myth and A Sylloge of Sasanian Coins in the Museum of Iran, Tehran.
Sheila R. Canby is Curator in Charge of the Department of Islamic Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Her publications include Persian Paintings and The Golden Age of Persian Art 1501 – 1722 (British Museum Press).