Saadi (1184-1283/1291?) was a Persian poet and prose writer from Shiraz, Persia.
His works include accounts of his long journeys and his analysis of human psychology and his judgments upon life.
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- بنی آدم اعضای یک پیکرند
که در آفرينش ز یک گوهرند
چو عضوى به درد آورد روزگار
دگر عضوها را نماند قرار
تو کز محنت دیگران بی غمی
نشاید که نامت نهند آدمی
- banī 'ādam a'zā-ye yek peykar-and
- ke dar 'āfarīn-aš ze yek gowhar-and
- čo 'ozvī be dard āvarad rūzgār
- degar 'ozvhā-rā na-mānad qarār
- to k-az mehnat-ē dīgarān bīqam-ī
- na-šāyad ke nām-at nahand ādamī
Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you cannot retain.
- Alternative translation:
The children of Adam are limbs of a whole
Having been created of one essence.
When the calamity of time afflicts one limb
The other limbs cannot remain at rest.
If you have no sympathy for the troubles of others
You are not worthy to be called by the name of "human".
- Chapter 1, story 10
- I never lamented about the vicissitudes of time or complained of the turns of fortune except on the occasion when I was barefooted and unable to procure slippers [shoes]. But when I entered the great mosque of Kufah with a sore heart and beheld a man without feet I offered thanks to the bounty of God, consoled myself for my want of shoes and recited:
'A roast fowl is to the sight of a satiated man
Less valuable than a blade of fresh grass on the table
And to him who has no means nor power
A burnt turnip is a roasted fowl.'
- Chapter 3, story 19. Translated by Sir Edwin Arnold. (Persian version)
- Use a sweet tongue, courtesy, and gentleness, and thou mayst manage to guide an elephant with a hair.
- When gnats act in concert they will bring
down an elephant: when ants set to work,
and move in a body, they can strip a fierce
lion of its hide
- Whatever is produced in haste goes easily to waste.
- Chapter 8, story 36
- Recitation of Bani Adam in Persian by Amir H. Ghaseminejad
- "Saadi" in R. W. Emerson's Poems (1847)