Shaikh Muslihu-D-Din Sa’adi Shirazi (c. 1184-1291) is one of the greatest poets of the Classic Age in Persian literature. His Bustan (The Fruit Garden), and Gulistan (The Rose Garden), are among the most famous books in the language.
Sa’di was born at Shiraz in Persia (Iran), and studied at Baghdad. Little is known of his life history although he travelled widely in the Middle East and North Africa, returning to Shiraz in 1255, where he wrote his poetry under the patronage of the atabeg Sa’d ibn Zangi.
The form of his work is varied, ranging from panegyrics to humorous and lyric verse, and to quatrains and enigmas. The freedom and purity of his style characterize his writings and gives them a lasting popularity.
This prose translation of The Bustan, originally published in 1879, was the first to be taken directly from the Persian text. The copious annotations, and a format which conforms to the couplets in the original text, make it essential reading for all those who have a serious interest in the subject.