Completed in AH 976/AD 1568-9, the Mesa'ir us-Su'ara' is Asik
Celebi's major work. It is a biographical dictionary of Ottoman
poets arranged by alphabetical order of names. The author, who died
in 1572, was himself a poet, and like most of the literary men of
the period, belonged to the religious class. For much of his life
he was Qadi, or Judge, of various provincial towns. His book begins
with a general introduction followed by individual notices on
several hundred Ottoman poets. Without attempting to be an
anthology, it gives specimens of their work and passes critical
judgements but it is particularly strong on biographical detail,
above all on the author's contemporaries.
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