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Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond

Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond

Nizami's Layla and Majnun: poetry reading

Nizami's Layla and Majnun: poetry reading

1:47

Actor Helen Morse reads from the story of Layla and Majnun as told in Nizami's Khamsa, translated by James Atkinson.

This reading is part of a series of excerpts from the romantic stories and lyrical verse written or inspired by some of the great Persian poets of the past, as showcased in the Love and devotion: from Persia and beyond exhibition.

Nizami's Layla and Majnun: poetry reading transcript


From the story of Layla and Majnun, as told in the Khamsa of Nizami, translated by James Atkinson

Who wanders near that palmy glade,
Where the fresh breeze adds coolness to the shade?
'Tis Majnun – he has left his father’s tomb,
Again mid rocks and scorching plains to roam,
Unmindful of the sun's meridian heat,
Or the damp dewy night, with unshod feet;
Unmindful of the forest's savage brood,
Howling on every side in quest of blood;
No dread has he from aught of earth or air,
From den or aerie, calm in his despair:
He seems to court new perils, and can view
With unblench'd visage scenes of darkest hue;
Yet is he gentle, and his gracious mien
Checks the extended claw, where blood has been;
For tiger, wolf, and panther gather round
The maniac as their king ...

8:57
Cameron Douraghy talks about the Rostam: Tales from the Shahnameh comic book series.
40:53
Dr Barbara Brend discusses the illustrations in the 'Khamsa' of Nizami and the 'Khamsa' of Amir Khusrau.
40:52
Dr Zahra Taheri discusses the role of the feminine in the life and teachings of the mystic Sufi poet Rumi.
Dr Mammad Aidani explores contemporary ways of understanding the poetry of Maulana Jalal al-Din Rumi.
23:44
Prof Charles Melville on illuminated manuscripts that address themes of love and devotion.
24:57
Prof Charles Melville on illuminated manuscripts that address themes of love and devotion.
1:41
Hear Helen Morse read from Goethe’s West-eastern Divan.
1:49
Hear Helen Morse read from Lord Byron's The bride of Abydos.
1:41
Hear Helen Morse read Shakespeare's Sonnet no 54.
31:05
Enjoy an insight into the exhibition Love and devotion as co-curator Susan Scollay reveals the beauty of Persian poetry.
2:09
Hear Helen Morse read from the Divan of Hafiz.
1:46
Hear Helen Morse read from Dante's Divine comedy.
1:47
Hear Helen Morse read from the story of Layla and Majnun, as told in the Khamsa of Nizami.
2:19
Hear Helen Morse read from ʿAttar's Conference of the birds.
2:01
Hear Helen Morse read from Rumi's Masnavi.
2:42
Hear Helen Morse read from Firdausi's Shahnama.
2:22
Hear Helen Morse read from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.
1:23
Actor Helen Morse introduces lyrical works written by the great Persian poets of the past.
17:17
Richard Ovenden discusses the Bodleian Libraries and the 'Love and devotion' exhibition.
5:14
A preview of the Persian manuscripts that feature in Love and devotion, the Library's landmark 2012 exhibition.
1:49
Hear Helen Morse read from Lord Byron's The bride of Abydos.
1:41
Hear Helen Morse read from Goethe’s West-eastern Divan.
1:23
Actor Helen Morse introduces lyrical works written by the great Persian poets of the past.
2:22
Hear Helen Morse read from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.
2:42
Hear Helen Morse read from Firdausi's Shahnama.
2:01
Hear Helen Morse read from Rumi's Masnavi.
2:19
Hear Helen Morse read from ʿAttar's Conference of the birds.
1:47
Hear Helen Morse read from the story of Layla and Majnun, as told in the Khamsa of Nizami.
1:46
Hear Helen Morse read from Dante's Divine comedy.
2:09
Hear Helen Morse read from the Divan of Hafiz.
1:41
Hear Helen Morse read Shakespeare's Sonnet no 54.
40:53
Dr Barbara Brend discusses the illustrations in the 'Khamsa' of Nizami and the 'Khamsa' of Amir Khusrau.
40:52
Dr Zahra Taheri discusses the role of the feminine in the life and teachings of the mystic Sufi poet Rumi.
Dr Mammad Aidani explores contemporary ways of understanding the poetry of Maulana Jalal al-Din Rumi.
23:44
Prof Charles Melville on illuminated manuscripts that address themes of love and devotion.
24:57
Prof Charles Melville on illuminated manuscripts that address themes of love and devotion.

Love & devotion in the UK

The Bodleian Libraries is showing its own presentation of the Love and devotion exhibition at the Exhibition Room, Bodleian Library, in Oxford, England, between 29 November 2012 and 28 April 2013.

Learn more about how you can visit this exhibition on the Bodleian Libraries website.

Conference

Love and devotion: Persian Cultural Crossroads

This two-day conference held in April 2012 featured distinguished international guests and Australian specialists exploring cultural convergences in literature, the arts and architecture, history and philosophy within Persia's cultural sphere and Europe, from the 11th century to the present day.

For information on keynote speakers & topics discussed, visit our conference page

Visit the exhibition

The Love and devotion exhibition took place from 9 March to 1 July 2012. In-depth information about the exhibits and themes can be found on this website.

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