Masud Sa'd Salman

Mas'ud-i Sa'd-i Salmān (Persian: مسعود سعد سلمان) was an 11th-century Persian poet of the Ghaznavid empire who is known as the prisoner poet. He lived from 1046 to 1121.

Early life

He was born in 1046 in Lahore to wealthy parents from Hamadan, present-day Iran. his father Sa'd bin Salman was a great Persian ambassador who was sent to India by Ghaznavids.Masud was born there and he was highly learned in astrology, hippology, calligraphy, literature and also in Arabic and Indian languages.

In prison

In 1085, he was imprisoned, in the fortress of Nay, for his complicity with Sultan Ibrahim's son, Mahmud.[1] He was released in 1096, when he returned to Lahore and was appointed governor of Chalander. Two years later, continued political changes resulted in a prison stay of 8 years, with his release in 1106. The last years of his life was spent in high favor most of his best poems were written in the Nay prison.


He is known as a great Persian poet. His poems are so beautiful yet painful. Most of his works are written in the qasideh form. He has some poems in other styles such as quatrain and qet'eh. In the qasideh he followed the famous Unsuri. During one of his prison stays, he wrote the Tristia, a celebrated work of Persian poetry. He had relationships with some of the Persian Poets like: Othman Mokhtari, Abul-faraj Runi, Sanai.

One of his famous qasidehs about the prison named ای وائی امید ہائے بسیارم:

شخصي به هزار غم گرفتارم  در هر نفسي بجان رسد كارم
بي زلت و بي گناه محبوسم  بي علت و بي سبب گرفتارم
خورده قسم اختران به پاداشم  بسته كمر آسمان به پيكارم
امروز به غم فزونترم از دي  امسال به نقد كمتر از پارم
ياران گزيده داشتم روزي  امروز چه شد كه نيست كس يارم؟
هر نيمه شب آسمان ستوه آيد  از ناله سخت و گريه ي زارم
محبوس چرا شدم نمي دانم   دانم كه نه دزدم و نه عيارم
بسيار اميد بود بر طبعم  اي واي اميد هاي بسيارم

Couplet: Transliteration: Gardoon beh ranj o dard mara kushteh bood agar! Paiwand e umr e man neh shudey nazm e jan fizaaey! Translation: Had this sky (fate) got me killed with grief and pain (in my imprisoned state)! This patch (of garment) of my life would not have yielded life giving poetry!


  1. C.E. Bosworth, The Later Ghaznavids, (Columbia University Press, 1977), 66.


See also

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