The Gulistan of Sa'di (Paperback)
The Gulistan (Persian"The Rose Garden" and generally pronounced Golestan in Persian) is a landmark literary work in Persian literature, perhaps its single most influential work of prose. Written in 1259 CE, it is one of two major works of the Persian poet Sa'di, considered one of the great est medieval Persian poets. It is also one of his most popular books, and has proved deeply influential in the West as well as the East. The Gulistan is a collection of poems and stories, just as a rose-garden is a collection of roses. It is widely quoted as a source of wisdom. The well-known aphorism still frequently repeated in the western world, about being sad because one has no shoes until one meets the man who has no feet "whereupon I thanked Providence for its bounty to myself" is from the Gulistan. The minimalist plots of the Gulistan's stories are expressed with precise language and psychological insight, creating a "poetry of ideas" with the concision of mathematical formulas. The book deals with virtually every major issue faced by mankind, with both optimism and subtle satire. There is much advice for rulers, in this way coming within the mirror for princes genre. But as Eastwick comments in his introduction to the work, there is a common saying in Persian, "Each word of Sa'di has seventy-two meanings", and the stories, alongside their entertainment value and practical and moral dimension, frequently focus on the conduct of dervishes and are said to contain sufi teachings.