Payvand means ‘joining, link, connection’ in Farsi; it is also the name of an excellent website that promotes the Persian internet. It has news, stichomancy (or Sortes Hafezianae if you prefer; in Farsi it’s faal-e Haafez), HTML help, a web directory, and (closest to my heart) a page of books, a couple of which I have and most of which I want to read. One that immediately caught my eye is The Poetry of Nizami Ganjavi: Knowledge, Love, and Rhetoric, a collection of essays edited by Kamran Talattof et al; Nizami is one of the great figures of Persian literature. From an online bio:
Only a handful of his qasidahs (“odes”) and ghazals (“lyrics”) have survived; his reputation rests on his great Khamseh (“The Quintuplet”), a pentalogy of poems written in masnavi verse form (rhymed couplets) and totaling 30,000 couplets. Drawing inspiration from the Persian epic poets Ferdowsi and Sana’i, he proved himself the first great dramatic poet of Persian literature. The first poem in the pentology is the didactic poem Makhzan al-asrar (The Treasury of Mysteries), the second the romantic epic Khosrow o-Shirin (“Khosrow and Shirin”). The third is his rendition of a well-known story in Islamic folklore, Leyli o-Mejnun (The Story of Leyla and Majnun). The fourth poem, Haft paykar (The Seven Beauties), is considered his masterwork. The final poem in the pentalogy is the Sikandar or Eskandar-nameh (“Book of Alexander the Great”; Eng. trans. of part I, The Sikander Nama), a philosophical portrait of Alexander.