You will sleep softly, and I will tell
your tangled curls of what I need.
In the silence of my heart, I’ll say,
‘He’s mine.’ Even if it’s not so,
I’ll lie all the same.
Anything I Write about Hazrat Amir Khusrau will be a repetition of what have been said before. So I skip that. And it is certainly beyond my capabilities to comment on his poetry. So I desist from that too. A good collection of his work must be a part of any decent personal or public library.
Here is one such collection- ‘In the Bazaar of Love: The Selected Poetry of Amir Khusrau.’ Paul E Losensky and Sunil Sharma are the translators. It is published by Penguin. The selection consists of ghazals, Persian and Hindavi poems, and also the narrative ones. Losensky teaches translation studies, and Persian language and literature at Indiana University, Bloomington, USA. Sharma has written two books on Indo-Persian poetry. He teaches Persian and Indian literatures at Boston University, USA.
So, you can be sure of the quality of translation and presentation.
Elements like selected glossary, bibliography and index of ghazals make the book resourceful. But the ultimate high-point of this selection is the introduction- lengthy, vast, lots of information, connecting dots etc. This piece gives you ample perspective into the life and the works of Khushrau.
Though Khusrau has been translated in bits and pieces, but such a collection is definitely the first one in English. During the seven centuries between Khusrau and us, the world has witnessed immense changes with complex designs. Despite this, we still sing and read Khusrau. We still enjoy him. Thus, he becomes very contemporary.
Get a copy today, and immerse yourself in the romantic and the mystic, and, of course, the lyrical and the musical.
My soul is freed from the bonds
of its hovel, yet my heart languishes
still captive in your curling locks.