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Anwari of Balkh       By Mr. Taher

His full name was Awhad ad-din Ali Vahid ad-Din Muhammad Khavarani. He was a native Tajik of the city of Balkh, Khorasan. Anwari is considered one of the greatest panegyrists poets of Dari (Persian) literature. Anwari enjoyed the patronage of Sultan Sanjar Seljuk and two of his successors.

He used extreme erudition, satirical wit with great technical skill in his poetry. His poems are difficult to understand without accompanying notes, because of extreme obscure allusions and erudition. Anwari was equally well versed in Arabic literature and had great skills in other fields such as geometry, astronomy and astrology.

Anwari was immensely productive writer and his poems, collected in a Divan (collection of poems) are masterpieces of artistic form. He had specially achieved great degree of excellence in the art of qasida (ode) and ghazel (lyric). In his odes, he displayed great mastery and his lyrics are noted for their tenderness and charm. His divan of 632 pages contains qasidas, ghazels, rubaiyast (quatrains), qitahs (short poems), and masnavis (couplets). His longest elegy Tears of Khorasan is known to be the longest and one of the most beautiful poems in Dari literature. This lament is on the devastation of his country, Khorasan, brought by invading Oguz mongol tribesmen in 1153.

Although, he served as a court poet of Sultan Sanjar but in fact he despised the life of a court poet. He noted the fact resentfully and sarcastically that their patronage was the only to acquire adequate wealth. He remained with court until late in his life . When finally he got a chance to follow his much preferred course of an independent scholar he left the court. He lived the last years of his life in quiet seclusion.


"Anwari." Encyclopaedia Britannica. 1997.

"Anwari." Encyclopedia Encarta. 1996.