Sheikh Muslih-uddin Sa'di Shirazi, 1193? - 1291?

Sheikh Muslih-uddin Sa'di Shirazi was a Persian lyric poet best known for his ethical work Gulistan (1258), which influenced the New England Transcendentalists.  His poetry is representative of the Islamic form of mysticism called Sufism.  These poems, with their symbolism and metaphors of the boundlessness of divine love and the joy of the soul's direct and mysterious union with God, as well as Sufism in general, were admired by Amos Bronson Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Moncure Daniel ConwayHenry David Thoreau was so impressed, in fact, that he wrote in his journal, "I can find no essential difference between Saadi and myself.  He is not Persian, he is not ancient, he is not strange to me.  By the identity of his thoughts with mine he still survives."