Diwan-e-Naziri Nishapuri

About this text

Introductory notes

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, Naziri 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.


I am neither intoxicated by power and riches, nor am I defeated by poverty and starvation. Neither have I the aspiration to be drunk by a drop; nor am I so greedy as to be demolished by starving. I am the Absolute Inspiration and wine can neither alivate nor depress me.


For how long would thou offer this unripe morsel at thy feast and the prohibited drink in your goblet? Acquire such patience that the wound of thy heart could be sprinkled with more salt; and the goblet may come closer to thee.


The weakness of thy body has usurped strength from everyone;
Thy ache has afflicted every bone;
No one is beyond the pain of thy chastisement;
Everyone’s life is in union with thine.


How long to eat the seeds of white poppey and not the dessert which is still sweeter;
How long are we to eat without appetite the dusty salt instead of well-cooked kababs at this voluptuous feast.


Who is Naziri, just a destitute and the companion of the mendicants;
one who does not present his request before Jamshed nor does he pay heed to Dārā.


Just as strong winds of autumn makes the tree leaves fall, similarly thy love makes the capital sins disappear.


I am the one for whom the narrow confines of the heart are like a cheerful garden;
The blister on my hand is the cup in which I see the world reflected.


I am of single colour and my place is not on the street of two-colours;
I am like the flood and to be clement to anyone is not in my temper;


Falling of an old wall is for its becoming new;
No one is after my inhabitation except death.


Death is most bitter and life also is full of grief and pain;
Both the face and the back of this world are not desirable.

This text is an English-language translation of the original version:

This is a selection from the original text


feast, kebabs, poverty, starvation

Source text

Title: Diwan-e-Naziri Nisapuri

Author: Naziri Nishapuri

Editor(s): Momammad-Reżā Tāheri

Publisher: Momammad-Reżā Tāheri

Publication date: 2016

Original compiled c.1580-1614

Place of publication: Tehran

Provenance/location: Original compiled c.1580-1614

Digital edition

Original author(s): Naziri Nishapuri

Original editor(s): Md. Ehteshamuddin Institute of Persian Research, Aligarh Muslim University , Azarmi Dukht Safavi Institute of Persian Research, Aligarh Muslim University

Language: English


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: India > poetry

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.