A very interesting article By: M. S. Tajar, Ph. D. Ed. D., Former Lecturer, University of the Philippines
Persian is probably the richest language of poetry in the world, not only for its un-equalled number of great poets like Omar Khayyam, Hafiz, Sa’di, Firdausi, Rumi, Attar, Nizami, Baba Taher, Jaami, etc. (whom, unfortunately, some foreighners mistook as Arabs just because they were Muslims and had “Arab” sounding names, as all Muslims do), but also for its un-matched volumes of Divans, as well. For example, the Shahnamah of Firdausi (930 – 1020 A.D.) is three times larger than Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, combined, and more spectacular in its presentations; while Rumi’s “Mathnavi of Sufism” (1207 – 1273 A.D.) is still the best seller in the U.S.A. today, some 700 years after his death; and it is also the “All-time best seller” book of poetry in history!
(Note: Paul Coehlo of Brazil’s best selling book “The Alchemist” was inspired by Rumi’s poems. Ref. BBC, Hardtalk, Extra. August 20, 2005)