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Document Details :

Title: Insects in Classical Persian Literature
Subtitle: The Case of the Ant Mayazar muri ki danakish ast ki jan darad u jan-i shirin khush ast
Author(s): SEYED-GOHRAB, A.A.
Journal: Persica
Volume: 16    Date: 2000   
Pages: 109-144
DOI: 10.2143/PERS.16.0.513

Abstract :
In the hierarchy of animals, insects have their own special place in Persian literature. They occur in various genres as a metaphor to express a higher reality. For instance, parts of the body of the ideal beloved are often compared to the ant. The beloved’s small mouth, fragile limbs and small waist are likened to those of the ant. Moreover, in mystical literature, the qualities of the insects, especially those of the ant, are used as a model for the mystic traveller. The mystic is often advised to walk as softly as the ant and to be as humble and diligent as this little creature. The purpose of the present inquiry is to examine how insects are used in classical Persian literature generally and particularly how ants are treated in the works of Sanâ’î, ‘Am‘aq of Bukhârâ, Bâbâ Ṭâhir-i ‘Uryân, Niẓâmî of Ganja, ‘Ațțâr, Sa‘dî, Maulânâ Rûmî and Ḥâfiẓ. Unfortunately no systematic and scholarly examination has yet been devoted to the presentation of insects in Persian literature.

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