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Seminars on Classic Poets Sa’di, Petrarch

Seminars on Classic  Poets Sa’di, PetrarchSeminars on Classic  Poets Sa’di, Petrarch

Scholars from Iran and Italy will convene at a series of seminars in Tehran, Shiraz, Rome and Bologna next summer to share ideas on and conduct a comparative analysis of works by Persian poet Sa’di of Shiraz (1210-1292) and Italian poet Francesco Petrarca (1304-1374) known as Petrarch.

The meetings are jointly organized by Book City Institute’s Cultural Center, the Shiraz-based Center for Studies on Sa’di, Iran’s Embassy in Italy, Sapienza University of Rome and University of Bologna.

Book City Institute’s Cultural Center in Tehran will host the first round of the meetings on April 18-19, 2018, ISNA reported.

The other seminar is planned for April 21 at the Center for Studies on Sa’di in Shiraz, capital of Fars Province. The center is located north of Sa’di’s mausoleum.

Last phases of the seminar will take place in Italy. No exact date has been  given, but there is enough time left till late summer when the scholars will meet at Sapienza University and the University of Bologna.

“Sa’di and Petrarch are two masters of romantic and lyric poetry,” said writer, biographer and literary researcher Ali Asghar Mohammadkhani who is  cultural and international deputy at Book City Institute.

 Source of Inspiration

“Sa’di excels in poetry of love, though his mystic and moral poems remain unique. Petrarch has left behind a great legacy in literature - Petrarchan sonnet. He perfected and popularized a sonnet form developed by a string of preceding Renaissance poets,” Mohammadkhani added, explaining that many great literary figures were inspired by Petrarch, including Italian writer and poet Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375), Father of English literature Geoffrey Chaucer (1343-1400), as well as English poet and playwright William Shakespeare (1564-1616).

“There are many similarities between the works of Sa’di and Petrarch,” Mohammadkhani said. Sa’di’s major prose work ‘Gulistan’ (Rose Garden), a landmark in Persian literature, “was the first Persian book translated in Europe. Sa’di was a popular poet among Renaissance philosophers. His humanitarian ideas were referred to in ethical discussions dealing with toleration, moderation and empathy.”

“Petrarch started poetry one century after Sa’di’s death. His works are in some ways analogous to Sa’di’s. Both are considered humanitarian poets,” he noted.

As Mohammadkhani said, Petrarch was influential in Renaissance, but is not so well-known in Iran. Likewise, Sa’di is not appreciated in Italy as he should be. The first Italian translation of Gulistan came out in 1873. Later in 1889, Italian expert in Iranian studies Italo Pizzi (1849-1920) published another translation of the book.

Pizzi also included selected sections from Sa’di’s Gulistan and poetry collection ‘Bustan’ (Orchard) in his ‘Storia della Poesia Persiana’ (History of Persian Poetry). There has been no other Italian translation of Sa’di’s works published in the past 100 years.

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