Selections from the Poetry of the Afghans

Henry George Raverty

Selections from the Poetry of the Afghans, by Henry George Raverty - click to see full size image

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Selections from the Poetry of the Afghans was first published in 1869. It is an anthology that presents English translations of Pushto poets dating back to the 16th century, predominantly Sufi in nature. These poets employ the symbolic language of Sufism, using imagery such as the tavern, wine, and flowers to depict the soul's journey towards spiritual enlightenment. Raverty's introductory essay, 'Remarks on the Mystic Doctrine and Poetry of the Sufis,' serves as a guide to understanding the symbolism. Many of the poets featured here were not only Sufi mystics but also tribal leaders and men of action, often with familial connections. For example, Khushhal Khan, a prolific poet and warrior, was the father of Ashraf Khan and Abd-ul-Kadir Khan, all renowned figures in both poetry and combat. While the poetry reflects the tribal and patriarchal society of the time, it is far from the oppressive world of the Taliban. Humor and love for nature and country shine through many verses. Raverty, a Major in the British Army, had extensive experience in the Punjab region during the mid-19th century. His knowledge of Pushto language and culture, acquired through travel and study, led to the creation of essential linguistic resources such as a Pushto grammar and dictionary. The translations in this anthology are based on Raverty's meticulous work, including rare manuscripts inaccessible to most.

This book has 91,562 words, 211 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1869.

Production notes: This ebook of Selections from the Poetry of the Afghans was published by Global Grey on the 11th April 2024. The artwork used for the cover is 'Discussion between a mullah and an old man' by Muhammad Zaman.

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