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SPINDLE STORIES CURRICULUM UNIT

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A Message For The Sultan - 16th Century Ottoman Turkey

SAMPLE ACTIVITY


A 400 Year Old Love Poem

Sultan Suleyman "the magnificent" was not only a brilliant administrator and military leader, he was a poet as well. One of his most famous poems was written to Hurrem, the famous one-time slave in his harem whom he later married. He signed it "Muhibbi," meaning "lover" or "sweetheart." Shown here in Ottoman Turkish, it is partially translated below.

"Throne of my lonely niche, my wealth, my love, my moonlight.
My most sincere friend, my confidant, my very existence, my Sultan
The most beautiful among the beautiful...
My springtime, my merry faced love, my daytime, my sweetheart, laughing leaf...
My plants, my sweet, my rose, the one only who does not distress me in this world...
My Istanbul, my Caraman, the earth of my Anatolia
My Badakhshanmy Baghdad, my Khorasan
My woman of the beautiful hair, my love of the slanted brow, my love of eyes full of mischief...
I'll sing your praises always
I, lover of the tormented heart, Muhibbi of the eyes full of tears, I am happy."


QUESTIONS:

1)  According to this poem, what did Hurrem look like?

2)  What kind of personality did she have?

3)  What role did Hurrem play in Suleyman's life?

4)  Can you identify any of the places Suleyman mentions in the poem?
    Which one(s)? Find out about the ones you don't know.


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