Art And Culture

What Makes Us Stand Tall is Persian Language and Literati

What Makes Us Stand Tall is Persian Language and LiteratiWhat Makes Us Stand Tall is Persian Language and Literati

A university professor and Persian language expert and researcher says: “What makes us stand tall in the world is Persian language. What we enjoy (have) and others do not are great litterateurs such as Ferdowsi, Sa’di, and Hafez.”

Mir Jalaleddin Kazazi in “Zolf-e-Chalipa”, a congress to celebrate Persian Literature Day and to pay homage to famous poet Farrokhi Yazdi, held at the museum garden of Qasr in Tehran said “one of the greatest wishes of Iranians for those dear to them is to wish for their lives to end well.This is of great value to Persians as a prosperous ending is even more valuable than a good beginning.”

He said “we see that this prison (Qasr prison) itself has become a place to promote arts, thinking, and aesthetic beauty.”

He appreciated those who make “prison a platform for astute literature” and stated “probably it is prisons which have made Iranians to become adroit. A prison is a place of pain, suffering, and darkness but this pain can manifest itself to discover the dormant, inherent talent of an individual,” he said quoted by IRNA.

  Roots in Freedom

Astuteness is the highest rank one can reach since it has its roots in freedom, he asserted.

The author of ‘Abbey of Magus’ (a book on Hafez-o-logy) (Persian: Deyr-e Moghan) noted “prisons can be a place for nobles at times and a place to raise nobles.”

He spoke of Masud Sa’d Salman, a well-known face in Persian literature, and said he spent many prosperous years of his life in prison but “I believe he would not be who he was if he had not experienced life in prison.”

Masud Sa’d Salman was an 11th-century Persian poet of the Ghaznavid empire who is known as the ‘poet prisoner.’ He lived from 1046 to 1121.

In 1085, he was imprisoned, in the fortress of Nay, for his complicity with Sultan Ibrahim Ghaznavi’s son, Mahmud. He was released in 1096, when he returned to Lahore and was appointed governor of Chalander. Two years later, political changes resulted in a prison stay of 8 years, with his release in 1106. The last years of his life saw some of his best poems written in the Nay prison.

Kazazi, naming Farrokhi Yazdi, noted that the zenith of Persian culture has been in its literature. “Be it pre-Islamic or Islamic Iran, we have always had dexterous artists; miniaturists and painters, music virtuosos, intellectual thinkers, but what makes us stand tall is Persian literature.”

The poet of ‘Dastan-e Mastan’ further stated “of course other nations have glorious names such as Da Vinci, Delacroix, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Plato, Aristotle, but who can brag about having giants matching Hafez, Sa’di, Ferdowsi (Firdausi), or a treasure like Nizami.

  Prison Poems

In the same congress, Shehrzad Bahar, daughter of celebrated Iranian poet Mohammad-Taqi Bahar widely known as Malek o-Sho’ara Bahar (literally: the king of poets), spoke of her father’s life and the hardships he faced.

Malek o-Sho’ara Bahar, was also a politician, journalist, historian and professor of literature. Although he was a 20th-century poet, his poems were traditional and strongly nationalistic in character.

Abdol-jabbar Kakaee, poet and lyricist, and Erfan Nazar-Ahari, poet and contemporary writer, recited some poems.

At the end, a prison cell in memory of Farrokhi Yazdi’s years in prison was unveiled.

Yazdi had to leave school due to poverty and start work at an early age. Yet by the age of 16, he had already started writing poetry and gradually became active during the Persian Constitutional Revolution and was imprisoned because of his writings opposing the infamous 1919 treaty of Iran. In prison, he protested that “He whose only offence is love of the motherland / No creed would condemn to a dark cell…”

In 1921, he published the political newspaper “Toufan” (storm), winning fame for his poetry and constant attacks against Reza Pahlavi in his editorials.

Finally, in 1939, he was arrested and sentenced to imprisonment. He died in Qasr prison.