What Was the Longest Poem Ever Written?

The longest poem ever written by one man is the Shah Namah, or “Book of Kings,” written by a Persian poet named Firdausi in the 10th century.

This poem, a complete history of Persia, contained almost 60,000 verses, occupied 2,084 pages, and filled nine big volumes. It took the poet 35 years to finish the work!

There was a reason why Firdausi wanted to write a very long poem. The Sultan of Persia offered the poet one gold piece for every verse he wrote. But when Firdausi had finished his long work and asked for his 60,000 gold pieces, the sultan sent him 60,000 silver pieces instead.

Firdausi was so angered by the sultan’s act that he gave away all 60,000 silver pieces, he even gave 20,000 of them to a beer-seller for one glass of beer!

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

4 thoughts on “What Was the Longest Poem Ever Written?”

  1. That’s somethng unusual and it’s a record which can’t be broken very easily the poets need to do a lot hard work to overtake this.

  2. I never Knew that there was such a long poem ever written in the word , I wonder what was it all about? was it ever published?..

  3. Thanks for the article. The Shahnameh is really such an integral part of the Persian speaking people’s psyche that anyone who wants to really get to know them should start by reading up on their Shahnameh. It is interesting to note that you can even find a modern Comic book series depicting the stories from the Shahnameh.

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