Roudaki, blind poet who played harp

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Roudaki, the renowned Persian poet, singer, and musician used poetry as a means to express his philosophical thoughts and played the harp despite being blind, IRNA reported on December 25.


Roudaki was born in 880 AD in the village of Panjrudak (then a suburb of Samarkand). He lived in the era of the Samanid Empire, which was one of the best historical periods of Iran in terms of civilization, according to IRNA. The poet died in 941 AD in Panjakent, modern Tajikistan.


Samarkand is now a part of Uzbekistan, but at that time it was one of the main cities in the Samanid Empire.


Roudaki is regarded as the first major poet to write in New Persian. He composed more than 180,000 verses, but unfortunately, only a small portion of his work has survived, most notably a small part of his versification of the Kalila wa-Dimna (Kalila and Dimna), which is a collection of Indian fables.


Rashidi Samarkandi has said that Roudaki composed more than one million verses, while the number of verses remaining from the prominent poet is less than 1,000 verses.


Roudaki is acknowledged as the founder of New Persian poetry in Iran and as the father of Tajik literature in Tajikistan, according to Iranologist Richard Foltz, a cultural historian specializing in the broader Iranian world.


The great Iranian poet pointed out different topics such as nature in his poems, according to IRNA.


Richard Nelson Frye, an American scholar of Iranian and Central Asian studies, was of the opinion that Roudaki played a key role in a shift from the Pahlavi script to the current Persian script.


Various documents and works written by other poets prove that Roudaki had been suffering from blindness; however, he was a master at playing the harp.


Iran issued a commemorative stamp in 1958 to mark Roudaki’s 1100th birthday.


Source: Asia-Plus