About this text
Naziri (1560–1612/14) left his native city of Nishapur after the death of his father and travelled to western Persia as a merchant. He was an accomplished poet when he migrated to India, as the first Persian-born poet to join the court of the Mughal statesman and literary patron ʿAbd-ul-Raḥim Khān-e Khānān. Naẓiri composed panegyrics in his patron’s honour. He later settled in Gujarat, distancing himself from his first patron, as his wealth and fame created other opportunities. In Gujarat, Naẓiri prospered in agricultural and commercial enterprises and became a wealthy man. He remained in demand as a poet, and wrote panegyrics not only for his previous patron, but also for Prince Murād and Jahāngir, who called Naziri to Agra in 1610. As a member of the urban elite, Naẓiri built a mansion and contributed to the support of the poor. He became a literary patron for new poets from Persia. Though his poetry occasionally used metaphors typical of the emerging shiva-yi tāza (“fresh style”), he avoided the bolder experiments of his contemporaries. His poems continued in the maktab-e woquʿ, or “realist school” of poetics, characteristic of Safavid Persia in the sixteenth century, which eschewed Sufistic symbolism.