Makhfi, woman poet, 1638-1701, Moghul Empire

Her pen-name, Makhfi, means “hidden.”

The nightingale forsakes the rose to see me in the garden,

The pious Brahmin will forsake his idols when he sees me–

I’m hidden in my words, like a scent within a rose’s petal,

Whoever wants to see me, it’s in my words he’ll see me.


Translated by Dick Davis in “The Mirror of my Heart: A Thousand Years of Persian Poetry by Women”

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