The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also shahrangiz; literally, [verses] troubling a city), the general term for poems of the classical period of Persian-Tadzhik literature that aroused a stormy reaction among the residents of a medieval city. Some works written in the shahr-ashub genre exposed the misdeeds of city officials and noblemen, while others were associated with “artisan” poetry, which glorified handsome youths who worked in the town’s shops, with specific references to their love affairs. The shahr-ashub consisted of distichs or quatrains written in the meter of rubaiyat, ghazals, or qitahs.

The first shahr-ashub were written as early as the tenth and 11th centuries by Rudaki, Kassai, Labibi, and Maghsadi. However, the genre became most popular in late-medieval cities. Sa-fai Bukhari (died c. 1504) wrote a series of 48 “artisan” ghazals, Darvish Dikhaki (died 1531 or 1532) and Sayido Nasafi (died c. 1710) wrote 212 “dedications” to young artisans, and the Turkish poet Isa Masihi (1470–1512) wrote a cycle of shahrangiz consisting of 47 “portraits” of youths in Adrianople.


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.