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Zīb al-Nesāʾ Makhfī’s Ambitious Lyric Voice: “Conquering the Realm of Verse, with Ease”

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Zīb al-Nesāʾ Makhfī’s Ambitious Lyric Voice: “Conquering the Realm of Verse, with Ease”

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Women Poets Iranica (April 19, 2024) Zīb al-Nesāʾ Makhfī’s Ambitious Lyric Voice: “Conquering the Realm of Verse, with Ease”. Retrieved from https://poets.iranicaonline.org/article/zib-al-nesa%ca%be-makhfis-ambitious-lyric-voice-conquering-the-realm-of-verse-with-ease/.
"Zīb al-Nesāʾ Makhfī’s Ambitious Lyric Voice: “Conquering the Realm of Verse, with Ease”." Women Poets Iranica - April 19, 2024, https://poets.iranicaonline.org/article/zib-al-nesa%ca%be-makhfis-ambitious-lyric-voice-conquering-the-realm-of-verse-with-ease/
Women Poets Iranica December 4, 2023 Zīb al-Nesāʾ Makhfī’s Ambitious Lyric Voice: “Conquering the Realm of Verse, with Ease”., viewed April 19, 2024,<https://poets.iranicaonline.org/article/zib-al-nesa%ca%be-makhfis-ambitious-lyric-voice-conquering-the-realm-of-verse-with-ease/>
"Zīb al-Nesāʾ Makhfī’s Ambitious Lyric Voice: “Conquering the Realm of Verse, with Ease”." Women Poets Iranica - Accessed April 19, 2024. https://poets.iranicaonline.org/article/zib-al-nesa%ca%be-makhfis-ambitious-lyric-voice-conquering-the-realm-of-verse-with-ease/

In the concluding couplet of one of her ghazals (lyric poems), the Mughal princess Zīb al-Nesāʾ (1638-1702) issues a challenge to Majnūn, the archetypal Arabic poet from the classical past: placing her pen-name Makhfī (“hidden” or “concealed from sight”) alongside his own, she writes, “Come, Majnūn; I am the desert guide today.” This article surveys Makhfī’s remarkable corpus of poetry, whichreveals how she leveraged a unique set of privileges and constraints–as a royal woman, an Indo-Persian intellectual, a devout Sufi, a prisoner under house arrest–to craft a distinct and powerful lyric voice of her own that was capable (as she herself declares) of conquering the realm of verse, with ease.