IBN ‘ARABI: SELECTED POEMS

Translation & Introduction by Paul Smith

In the West he is known as the Doctor Maximus and in the Islamic world as The Great Master. Born in Murcia in Spain in 1165 his family moved to Seville. At thirty-five he left for Mecca where he completed his most influential book of poems The Interpreter of Ardent Desires and began writing his masterpiece, the vast Meccan Revelations. In 1204 he began further travels. In 1223 he settled in Damascus where he lived the last seventeen years of his life, dying in 1240. His tomb there is still an important place of pilgrimage. A prolific writer, Ibn ‘Arabi is generally known as the prime exponent of the idea later known as the ‘Unity of Being’. His emphasis was on the true potential of the human being and the path to realizing that potential and becoming the Perfect or complete person. Hundreds of works are attributed to him including a large Divan of poems most of which have yet to be translated. Introduction… on his life and poetry, forms he composed in & Sufism in poetry, Selected Bibliography. The correct rhyme-structure has been kept as well as the beauty and meaning of this selection of his beautiful, mystical poems. 121 pages.

COMMENTS ON PAUL SMITH’S TRANSLATION OF HAFIZ’S ‘DIVAN’.

“It is not a joke... the English version of ALL the ghazals of Hafiz is a great feat and of paramount importance. I am astonished. If he comes to Iran I will kiss the fingertips that wrote such a masterpiece inspired by the Creator of all and I will lay down my head at his feet out of respect.” Dr. Mir Mohammad Taghavi (Dr. of Literature) Tehran.
“Superb translations. 99% Hafiz 1% Paul Smith.” Ali Akbar Shapurzman, translator of works in English into Persian and knower of Hafiz’s Divan off by heart.
“Smith has probably put together the greatest collection of literary facts and history concerning Hafiz.” Daniel Ladinsky (Penguin Books).

Paul Smith is a poet, author and translator of over 80 books of Sufi poets of the Persian, Arabic, Urdu, Turkish, Pashtu and other languages… including Hafiz, Sadi, Nizami, Rumi, ‘Attar, Sana’i, Jahan Khatun, Obeyd Zakani, Mu’in, Amir Khusrau, Nesimi, Kabir, Anvari, Ansari, Jami, Omar Khayyam, Rudaki, Yunus Emre, Mahsati and many others, as well as his own poetry, fiction, plays, biographies, children’s books and screenplays.