Rudaki

Abu Abdullah Jafar Ibn Muhammad ibn Adam Ruddaki Samarkandi-

Leading Persian poet during the first part of 10th century.

Born in Rodhak , Samarkand, Rudaki was the author of the earliest substantial surviving fragments of Persian verse.

It is stated by Awfi that Rudaki was born blind. He flourished under the patronage of Samanid ruler of Bukhara , Nasr 11 b. Ahmed ( 914-943 AD ).

His Diwan of 18000 verses is lost. However, there are survived a large number of single verses quoted in the Persian dictionaries  and a few complete poems also.

There has survived a Kasida of 100  verses ( beginning Madar i May ) which is preserved in the anonymous Tarikh i Sistan , that Rudaki sent to the ruler of Sistan. There are also 5 short poems, all of elegiac inspiration quoted by the Historian Abu`l Fadl Bayhaki , the verses beginning with ” bay-i-Djoy Mulliyan ” quoted by Nizam Arudi in connection with an anecdote about Nasr b. Ahmed, a few short pieces quoted by Awfi and Shams i Kays , and a description of spring quoted by the 14th centiry ( AD ) anthologist Djadjarmi.

Also ascribed to him is a long ode cited by Amin Razi ( 1593 ) in which the poet in which Rudaki laments his old age and recalls his youth. He had , in his advanced years been reduced to poverty, according to his own  works. His works in his own life time had fallen into oblivion.

Rudaki`s  most famous work was his versification of the book of ” Kalila wa- Dimma “

The Shahname of Ferdowsi tells us how the “Dastur ” Abul Fadl first had this book translated into Persian and how the ” Amir ” Nasr subsequently appointed ” interpreters ” to read it out so that the blind Rudaki could versify it.

Rudakis style  stands in stark contrast to that which dominated Persian poetry from the 12th Century AD.   As a result much of his work fell into oblivion during his own lifetime.

There is nothing overtly religious  in his works and indeed there is no trace of Sufism.

He states ” You ought not oh guests , to set your hearts forever on this way station for you must slumber under the earth. ” Much of its work is also hedonistic and he states ” Live merrilly amongst the black eyed beauties…. bring the wine and come what may. “