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Robert Elsie

Albanian Literature | Early Authors


Berat in 1813, by Charles Cockerelle.

Berat in 1813, by Charles Cockerelle.

Berat in 1813, by Charles Cockerelle.



Sulejman NAIBI


Sulejman Naibi, also known as Sulejman Ramazani, was a gifted Albanian poet of the Muslim tradition, a contemporary of Nezim Frakulla. He was born in Berat where he lived most of his life and died in 1771 [1185 A.H.]. Little else is known of him except that he got married in Elbasan and is thought perhaps to have spent some time in Turkey or the Middle East.

Sulejman Naibi is the author of a 'divan' of poetry in Albanian, a manuscript of which survived in Fier until 1944, but was then unfortunately lost. As a result, we know Sulejman Naibi's verse only from the few poems which have surfaced in other manuscripts or which have survived orally in central Albanian folk songs, such as Mahmudeja e stolisurë (Mahmude, Well-Adorned One). Among the little of this eight and twelve-syllable verse which has been published, we find delicate lyrics of a certain metrical precision. Naibi is the first Muslim poet to devote verse to the beauty of women, most other poetry in the Oriental tradition being composed by men to the beauty of young men. Naibi's language is less imbued with orientalisms than that of Nezim Frakulla.