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TAGS: Mathnavi; Persian literature; Poetry; Varqa
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On the motifs of the cup-bearer and the cup, springtime, and love. Includes translation of "The Mathnaví of Rúhu'lláh, the Martyr."
Mirrored with permission from

The Mathnaví by Rúhu'lláh Varqá, the Martyr:
A Few Notes on Its Historical Context and Poetical Content

by Julio Savi and Faezeh Mardani

published in Lights of Irfan, 19, pages 269-284
Wilmette: Haj Mehdi Arjmand Colloquium, 2018
Abstract: A tentative translation of the Mathnaví by Rúhu’lláh Varqá, the martyr, is presented [below]. It is accompanied by a concise commentary of the content of his poem. After a few words on the mathnaví in Persian literature, the most important images presented in the poem are briefly explained: the motif of the cup-bearer and the cup, springtime motifs, love motifs. The poem is a hymn of love to the Blessed Beauty. However, in the final 10 verses after verse 31 the poet turns to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and it closes his eulogy with a quotation of a verse from one of the Master’s poems (Ay Khudáy-i-Pur-‘Atáy-i-Dhu’l-Manán), a rhetorical device called Tadmín.

While describing the lives and martyrdom of Mírzá ‘Alí-Muhammad Varqá and of his son Rúhu’lláh, Adib Taherzadeh wrote: “Truly, Rúhu’lláh was no ordinary child. He was an inspired being and acted as a spiritual giant. At a young age he wrote beautiful poetry which clearly demonstrates how deep was his love for Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, how vast his knowledge of the Faith and how profound his understanding of the real purpose of life” [Revelation 4:60]. These qualities clearly emerge from the verses of the mathnaví composed by this young hero, whose first English translation is being presented in this paper.

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