Sadi or Saadi (both: säˈdē) [key], Persian poet, 1184–1291. b. Shiraz. Orphaned at an early age, Sadi studied in Baghdad, where he met Suhrawardi, a major Sufi figure. Having to flee Baghdad because of the Mongol threat, he went on a long journey that took him to central Asia and India, then to Yemen and Ethiopia through Mecca. Sadi was captured by the Franks in Syria and worked at hard labor until ransomed. He proceeded to N Africa and Anatolia, before returning to his native Shiraz in 1256. His Bustan [fruit garden], an ethical-didactic text, was composed in mathnawi (rhyming couplets). Even more popular is his Gulistan [Garden of Roses], written in rhyming prose. Sadi is also the author of many qasidas (long panegyrics) in Persian and Arabic, of mystic ghazal (love poems), and of satiric poetry. His tomb in Shiraz is a shrine.

See G. M. Wickens' translation of the Bustan, Morals Pointed and Tales Adorned (1974).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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