Two Bayts (Verses) of Poetry


This calligraphic fragment includes two unrelated bayts (verses) of poetry in Persian. The first two lines read: “Why does anybody fight with someone like me? / What comes from killing me and shedding my blood?” The last two lines read: “During the night and day of Spring, / The cloud was crying because of its sorrow.” The verses are executed in black nasta'liq script in diagonal on a beige sheet of paper. Gold and blue borders are rather sloppily pasted on. In the lower-right corner of the text panel appears the sanah (year) 1006 (1597−98). Although the calligraphic piece is not signed, a note on the verso attributes the work to a certain Sultan Hafiz Muhammad 'Ali, the brother of Hafiz Nur Allah. This calligrapher may be Mawlana Sultan Muhammad, the son (not brother) of Mawlana Nur Allah and a pupil of the famous Persian calligrapher Sultan 'Ali Mashhadi (died 1514). However, the work's date is more than 80 years after Sultan 'Ali Mashhadi's death, which seems too late to support such an identification. Although Sultan Hafiz Muhammad is not clearly identifiable, the calligrapher who executed this fragment was certainly a Safavid master of nasta'liq script.

Last updated: May 3, 2016