ḴĀQĀNI ŠERVĀNI (or Šarvāni), AFŻAL-AL-DIN BADIL B. ʿALI B. ʿOṮMĀN, a major Persian poet and prose writer (b. Šervān, ca. 521/1127; d. Tabriz, between 582/1186-87 and 595/1199). He composed a voluminous divan (divān), which also contains a few Arabic poems (ed. Sajjādi, pp. 939-67; all references to Ḵāqāni’s Divān are to this edition), one long narrative poem in couplet form (maṯnawi) titled Toḥfat al-ʿErāqayn (see ḴATM AL-ḠARĀʾEB), and a collection of letters (monšaʾāt). An eminent example of a poeta doctus (erudite poet), he is noted for his extremely rich imagery, drawn from and alluding to a wide range of fields of knowledge—a mannerist, in an even higher degree than other classical Persian poets, both in the way he absorbs and transforms the poetry of his predecessors and in his love of paradox. In a sense he is a paradox himself, the exuberance of his style being in marked contrast with his deeply melancholic persona.

This entry is divided into two sections:

i. Life.

ii. Works.

(Anna Livia Beelaert)

Originally Published: December 15, 2010

Last Updated: April 20, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. XV, Fasc. 5, pp. 521-529