Persian Manuscripts : Taz̲kirat al-Shuʻarā'

Bandah ʿAlī Khān Bāsiṭī (ca. 1704–1784 or 1785)Shīr Afgan KhānBāsiṭīبنده علی خانشیر افگن خانباسطی

Persian Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This undated poetic anthology entitled <i>Taz̲kirat al-Shuʻarā'</i> (Chronicles of Poets) encompasses lines by 292 poets arranged thematically by subject (<i>ma'nī</i>), including examples by its compiler, Bandah ‘Alī Khān (ca. 1704–1784 or 1785), pen named Bāsiṭī. Born into a prominent family in Shāhjahānābād (Delhi), where he attended the court of the Mughal ruler Emperor Muḥammad Shāh (b. 1702, r. 1719–1748), whom awarded him the title Shīr Afgan Khān (Tiger-seizer) previously held by his grandfather. He initially studied poetry under Muḥammad Afz̤al al-Dīn S̱ābit Allāhābādī, during which time he employed the nom-de-plume Sabqat, but after he moved to Lucknow in 1160 AH (1748 CE) he continued with ‘Abd al-Bāsiṭ, from whom he ultimately derived his pen name. According to several accounts, when he visited the preeminent poet Muḥammad ʻAlī Ḥazīn in Benares (Varanasi) to ask for a critique of his <i>dīvān</i>, Hazīn replied that he should "wash all of its pages from start to finish" and urged him to only write quatrains, advice that he thereafter followed. He passed away in Lucknow in 1199 AH (1784–85 CE) The colophon of this neatly copied and illuminated manuscript indicates that a scribe completed it for the author, hence it must date to Bāsiṭī's lifetime.</p>

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