Persian Poetics Presents:


Poetess - Persian Poetry by Women


Join us as we study Persian poetry penned by Women!


My hope’s that God will make you fall in love

with someone cold and callous just like you


And that you’ll realize my true value when

you’re twisting in the torments I’ve been through.


-Rābi‘ah Balhkī, 10th century, translated by D. Davis

What was life like for a Mughal princess? Or a Women’s rights activist who died for her cause? Or a street musician working the bāzārs of Samarqand?


Unheard for centuries, the voices of these remarkable women are now available to an English-speaking audience. Join us as we uncover these poems once lost in the pages of manuscripts.


The poets we’ll read span the entire timeline of the classical Muslim world. Our class begins with the 10th century Sufi Rābi‘ah Balhkī and ends with the Women’s rights activists in the early 20th century.


We’ll also travel through space and culture as we read poets hailing from as far west as the Balkans and Egypt to as far east as India, all united by their Persian poetry.


Whether you’re a poetry enthusiast or casual reader, we hope you’ll join us for this course.


Course Syllabus:

  1. Course Introduction.

  2. Class Two: Poems before 1500.

  3. Class Three: Poems before 1500 Continued.

  4. Class Four: Poems from the 1500s to 1800s.

  5. Class Five: Poems from the 1800s onward.

What’s all this talk of exile

as a tale of misery?


Your homeland’s where you’re happiest

wherever that might be.


-Āfāq Jalāyir, 16th century, translated by D. Davis

A preview of the class: