Best Classical Era Persian Poets

List of the greatest and most famous Persian poets in classical literature era, Between 850 AD (after two centuries of silence after Arab conquest of Iran (Persia) and rising of first great Persian poet, Rudaki) to 1500 (death of last famous Persian poet, Jami, and founding of Safavid dynasty). Also there is gap after this age until rising of Nima, first great contemporary Persian poet in 1900 and then his followers.

The Top Ten

Ferdowsi (940-1020 AD)

Ferdowsi we are alive because of your efforts. without ferdowsi farsi will be destroyed. By 6000 verse you gave new heart to Iranian culture and society

Over 60,000 verses...he was awesome and loved his language and nationality and wanted to revive it.

Hakim Abu ʾl-Qasim Ferdowsi Tusi
Poet and the author of the epic of Shahnameh - the Persian "Book of Kings" - which is the world's longest epic poetry created by a single poet, and the national epic of Greater Iran and the Persian speaking world.

Ferdowsi is celebrated as the most influential figure in Persian literature and one of the greatest in the history of literature.
The Shahnameh is the only surviving work by Ferdowsi regarded as indisputably genuine. Ferdowsi has a unique place in Persian history because of the strides he made in reviving and regenerating the Persian language and cultural traditions. His works are cited as a crucial component in the persistence of the Persian language, as those works allowed much of the tongue to remain codified and intact. In this respect, Ferdowsi surpasses Nizami, Khayyám, Asadi Tusi and other seminal Persian literary figures in his impact on Persian culture and language.Many modern Iranians see him as the father of the modern Persian language.

Mowlavi (Rumi) (1207-1273 AD)

He is not a good poet! He is the greatest poet in all over the world.

Rumi sahab not only in Persia but also in India is regarded one of the best poet of his era.

The great mathnavi writter ever...

Mawlānā Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī / Rumi
His poems have been widely translated into many of the world's languages and transposed into various formats. He has been described as the "most popular poet in America" and the "best selling poet in the US".
His Mathnawi remains one of the purest literary glories of Persia, and one of the crowning glories of the Persian language.

Saadi (1210-1291 AD)

Abū-Muhammad Muslih al-Dīn bin Abdallāh Shīrāzī, Saadi Shirazi
He is not only famous in Persian-speaking countries, but has been quoted in western sources as well. He is recognized for the quality of his writings and for the depth of his social and moral thoughts. Saadi is widely recognized as one of the greatest poets of the classical literary tradition.

Hafez (1325-1389 AD)

Hafez is the greatest ghazal poet and mystic of all times. His ghazals change you forever.

Fall in love before the world comes to end.

Hafez is the masterpiece of Persian literature.He is a big honour for Iranian people.We are going to support him and his poem.I hope the best dreams for hafez's spirit. the star of Persian literature


Khayyám (1048-1131 AD)

Ghiyāth ad-Dīn Abu'l-Fatḥ ʿUmar ibn Ibrāhīm al-Khayyām Nīshāpūrī / Omar Khayyám
Khayyám, was a sufi mystic, Persian polymath, philosopher, mathematician, astronomer and poet. He also wrote treatises on mechanics, geography, mineralogy, music, and Islamic theology. Outside Iran and Persian speaking countries, Khayyám has had an impact on literature and societies through the translation of his works and popularization by other scholars.

Nizami (1141-1209 AD)
Attar (1145-1220 AD)
Rudaki (858-941 AD)

Abu Abdollah Jafar ibn Mohammad Rudaki
He is regarded as the first great literary genius of the Modern Persian, who composed poems in the "New Persian" alphabet. Rudaki is considered as a founder of Persian classical literature. His poetry contains many of the oldest genres of Persian poetry including the quatrain. Only a small percentage of his extensive poetry has survived.

He was the first ever poet

Khaqani (1121-1190 AD)

Afzaladdin Badil (Ibrahim) ibn Ali Nadjar / Khaqani Shirvani
A Master of the language, a poet possessing both intellect and heart, who fled from the outer world to the inner world, a personality who did not conform to type - all this places him in the front ranks of Persian literature.

Sanai (1080-1141 AD)

He is my all time best poet and my inspiration

He wrote an enormous quantity of mystical verse, of which The Walled Garden of Truth or The Hadiqat al Haqiqa is his master work and the first Persian mystical epic of Sufism.
Mowlavi (Rumi) acknowledged Sanai and Attar as his two primary inspirations, saying, "Attar is the soul and Sanai its two eyes, I came after Sanai and Attar." The Walled Garden of Truth was also a model for Nizami's Makhzan al-Asrar (Treasury of Secrets).

The Newcomers

? Mu'izzi (1048-1125 AD)
? Abu-Shakur Balkhi (915-989 AD)

The Contenders

Jami (1414-1492 AD)

Nūr ad-Dīn 'Abd ar-Rahmān Jāmī also known as Jami was a Persian poet who is known for his achievements as a prolific scholar and writer of mystical Sufi literature. He was primarily a prominent poet-theologian of the school of Ibn Arabi and a Khwājagānī Sũfī, recognized for his eloquence and for his analysis of the metaphysics of mercy. His most famous poetic works are Haft Awrang, Tuhfat al-Ahrar, Layla wa Majnun, Fatihat al-Shabab, Lawa'ih, Al-Durrah al-Fakhirah. Jami belonged to the Naqshbandi Sufi order.

Anvari (1126–1189 AD)

Awhad ad-Din 'Ali ibn Mohammad Khavarani, Anvarī was born in Abivard, Turkistan [now in Turkmenistan] and died in Balkh, Khorāsān [now in Afghanistan]. He studied science and literature at the collegiate institute in Toon (now Ferdows, Iran), becoming a famous astronomer as well as a poet.

Anvari's poems were collected in a Deewan, and contains panegyrics, eulogies, satire, and others. His elegy "Tears of Khorasan", translated into English in 1789, is considered to be one of the most beautiful poems in Persian literature. The Cambridge History of Iran calls Anvari "one of the greatest figures in Persian literature". Despite their beauty, his poems often required much help with interpretation, as they were often complex and difficult to understand.

Amir Khusrow (1253-1325 AD)

Abu'l Hasan Yamīn ud-Dīn Khusrau, better known as Amīr Khusrau Dehlavī was a Sufi musician, poet and scholar from India. He was an iconic figure in the cultural history of the Indian subcontinent. He was a mystic and a spiritual disciple of Nizamuddin Auliya of Delhi, India. He wrote poetry primarily in Persian, but also in Hindavi. A vocabulary in verse, the Ḳhāliq Bārī, containing Arabic, Persian, and Hindavi terms is often attributed to him.

Baba Tahir (1024-1093)

Baba Taher Oryan Hamadani was an 11th-century Persian dervish poet from Hamadan, Iran who lived during the reign of Tugril of the Seljuk dynasty over Iran. This is almost all that is known of him as he lived a mysterious lifestyle. Although prefix "Baba" (roughly meaning 'The Wise' or 'The Respected') has been thought as part of his name in all known sources, his nickname "Oryan"( meaning 'The Naked' ) did not appear until about 17th-century. According to The Cambridge History of Iran, Baba Tahir spoke a certain Persian dialect.

Nasir Khusraw (1004-1088 AD)

Abu Mo’in Hamid ad-Din Nasir ibn Khusraw al-Qubadiani or Nāsir Khusraw Qubādiyānī Balkhi was a Persian poet, philosopher, Isma'ili scholar, traveler and one of the greatest writers in Persian literature. He was born in Qabodiyon, a village in Bactria in the ancient Greater Iranian province of Khorasan, now in modern Tajikistan and died in Yamagan, now Afghanistan.

He is considered one of the great poets and writers in Persian literature. The Safarnama, an account of his travels, is his most famous work and remains required reading in Iran even today

Unsuri (963-1039 AD)

Abul Qasim Hasan Unsuri Balkhi was a 10-11th century Persian poet. ‘Unṣyourī is said to have been born in Balkh, today located in Afghanistan, and he eventually became a poet of the royal court of Mahmud of Ghazni, and was given the title Malik-us Shu'ara (King of Poets) under Sultan Maḥmūd of Ghazna. His Divan is said to have contained 30,000 distichs, of which only 2500 remain today.

Farrukhi Sistani (961-1037 AD)

Abul Hasan Ali ibn Julugh Farrukhi Sistani was a 10th- and 11th-century Persian royal poet of the Ghaznavids.

As an ethnic Persian, he was one of the brightest masters of the panegyric school of poetry in the court of Mahmud of Ghazni. He started his career by writing a qasida called "With a Caravan of Robes" (in Persian: با کاروان حله) and presented it to As'ad Chaghani, the vizier of Saffarid king of Sistan. This poem was so beautiful and masterful that Farrokhi was admitted to the court.

Manuchehri (965-1040 AD)

Abu Najm Ahmad ibn Qaus ibn Ahmad Manuchehri, Manuchehri Damghani, was an 11th-century court poet in Persia and Afghanistan.

He is said to have invented the form of musammat (stanzaic poems) in Persian poetry and to have written the best examples of this form. He traveled to Tabarestan and was admitted to the court of King Manuchihr of the Ziyarid dynasty. It is from here that he acquired his pen-name. He later was a royal poet in the court of Sultan Shihab ud-Dawlah Mas'ud I of Ghazni (or Ghazna), son of Mahmud of Ghazna.

He left behind a divan, a collection of his shorter poems. His works were extensively studied and translated into French by Albert Kazimirski de Biberstein in 1886.

Fakhr-al-Din Iraqi (1213-1289 AD)

Fakhr al-Dīn Ibrahīm ‘Irāqī was a Persian Sufi master, poet and writer. Often referred to as ‘Araqi, he was born in the village of Komeyjan near the city of Arak in Persia in 1213.
Unlike others before him ‘Iraqi viewed the world as a mirror which reflected God's Names and Qualities and not as a "veil" which must be lifted. According to (the late) Baljit Singh Ph.D., an Indian Persian scholar and translator of SWANEH of Ahmad Ghazali and Iraqi's LAMMAT (The Flashes), "The style of Lammat is a simple, dignified, fluent & rich with Qur'anic verses and Arabic sentences. Its theme is ‘Divine Love’ and is written in the fashion of the Swaneh of Ahmad Ghazali. Iraqi explains in the Lammat, Ibn Arabi's Sufism through the love symbology."

Khwaju Kermani (1280-1352 AD)
Daqiqi (935-977 AD)

Abu Mansur Daqiqi, better simply known as Daqiqi, was one of the most prominent Persian poets of the Samanid era. He was the first to undertake the creation of the national epic of Iran, the Shahnameh, but came to an abrupt end in 977 after only completing 1,000 verses. His work was continued by his contemporary Ferdowsi, who would later become celebrated as the most influential figure in Persian literature.
Daqiqi began his career at the court of the Muhtajid ruler Abu'l Muzaffar ibn Muhammad in Chaghaniyan, and was later invited to the Samanid court by the Samanid ruler (amir) Mansur I. Under the Samanids, ancient Iranian legends and heroic traditions were taken in special interest, thus inspiring Daqiqi to write the Shahnameh ("The Book of Kings"), a long epic poem based on the history of the Iranians.

Awhadi Maraghai (1271-1338 AD)

Awhaduddin Awhadi Maraghei was a Persian poet from the city Maragheh in Iran.
Awhadi has a divan of 8000 verses which consists of the Persian poetic forms qasidas, ghazals, tarji'bands and quatrains. The qasidas are in praise of Abu Said and his Vizir, Ghiyath al-Din, the son of Rashid al-Din Fazlah. His other poems play on various themes including mysticism, ethics, and religious subjects. He also is known for his marsiyas. Awhad Maraghai has three ghazals in the old dialect of Isfahan (Fahlavi), arranged under the title of "in the language of Isfahan"

Fakhruddin As'ad Gurgani (998-1054 AD)

Fakhruddin As'ad Gurgani was an 11th-century Persian poet. He versified the story of Vis and Rāmin, a story from the Arsacid (Parthian) period.
The Vis and Ramin story had a noticeable influence on Persian literature. Significantly, Nezami, himself a major poet of Persian romantic traditions, took the bases of much of his rhetoric from Gorgani. The romance also has had its influence beyond Persian culture. The story became very popular also in Georgia through a 12th-century free translation in prose known as Visramiani, which had a long-lasting effect on the Georgian literature. Some scholars have suggested that Vis and Ramin may have influenced the Tristan and Iseult legend, and the two plots have distinct resemblances.

Ubayd Zakani (1300-1337 AD)

Nizam al-Din Ubaydullah Zakani, or simply Ubayd-I Zakani, was a Persian poet and satirist of the 14th century from the city of Qazvin, Persia. He studied in Shiraz under the best masters of his day, but eventually moved back to his native town. He however preferred Shiraz to Qazvin, as he was a court poet in Shiraz for Shah Abu Ishaq, where a young Hafez was present as well.
His work is noted for its satire and obscene verses, often political or bawdy, and often cited in debates involving homosexual practices. He wrote the Resaleh-ye Delgosha, as well as Akhlaq al-Ashraf ("Ethics of the Aristocracy") and the famous humorous fable Masnavi Mush-O-Gorbeh (Mouse and Cat), which was a political satire. His non-satirical serious classical verses have also been regarded as very well written, in league with the other great works of Persian literature. He is one of the most remarkable poets, satirists and social critics of Iran, whose works have not received proper attention in the past. ...more

Asadi Tusi (999-1072 AD)
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