‘Abdollah Jafar Ebn Mohammad Rudaki’ is presumed to have been born about 880 CE and passed around 941 CE. Unfortunately, very little has been recorded on his life; much that is known must be pieced together from his own poetry.
He was the first poet of note to compose poems in the “New Persian” written in Arabic alphabet, generally regarded as the father of Persian poetry.
His poems are written in a simple style, characterized by charm and optimism and, toward the end of his life, by an impressive melancholy. In addition to parts of his divan (collection of poems), one of his most important contributions to literature is his translation from Arabic to New Persian.
Rudhaki was a singer, musician and poet, known as the Adam of poets and the founder of classical Persian literature. He lived during a turbulent period in the history of the central Asian region Persian political power was in decline while Iranian intellectual power growing. He was to play a crucial role during this transitional period. The Poet was to create an atmosphere in which great future poets like Ferdowsi, Umar Khayyam, Rumi, and Hafiz could flourish. Not too much is known about his early life yet some biographers from the time do mention that he was born blind.
Rudaki’s blindness has been contested using his poetry as an example some scholars saying he was too precise in the use of colours and vivid description.
Whether blind or not, he was to produce some beautiful, unforgettable verses during his life.
“Staying for brief nights in this roadside inn,
The lodger should not commit his love forever.
You will have to sleep deep beneath the earth,
Though now it’s silk on which you slumber.
What use to you to hobnob with the great?
You’ll be alone when the grave you enter.
The ones making love to you will be ants and flies,
Not the beauty that now grooms your hair.
She who now combs and plaits your hair—
No matter what rich reward you offer—
Once she sees you yellow and decay,
She is not blind. Heart grows colder.”