National Day of Persian Poetry and Literature celebrated in Tabriz

September 18, 2021 - 18:30

TEHRAN – Groups of Iranian literati and cultural figures came together during a meeting at Maqbarat ush-Shoara (Cemetery Of Poets) in Tabriz on Friday evening to celebrate the National Day of Persian Poetry and Literature. 

The day, which fell on Saturday this year, is observed every year on the death anniversary of the most prominent figure of contemporary Persian poetry Mohammad-Hossein Behjat Tabrizi – Shahriar, who is buried at the cemetery.

“No works of any contemporary Persian poet could have influenced people’s minds as much as Shahriar’s, and his poems are within the memories of many people nowadays,” Academy of Persian Language and Literature director Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel said at the meeting.

He pointed to the numerous poets buried at the cemetery and said, “I don’t suppose there is a city like Tabriz that has such a graveyard housing tombs of numerous great poets; this cemetery keeps many gems hidden under its soil that represent the grandeur and genuineness of Azarbaijan.”      

“In a city as grand as Tabriz, a poet like Shahriar was born; someone who belongs to Iran and is the honor of Azarbaijan and Tabriz,” added Haddad-Adel, who is also the director the Sadi Foundation, Iran’s organization that promotes the Persian language abroad.

He called Shahriar very knowledgeable about Persian classical poetry, history of Persian literature and contemporary Persian poetry, and said, “He loved not only works by Sadi and Hafez, but also poems by Malek ush-Shoaraye Bahar [Mohammad-Taqi Bahar] and Nima.”   

“Shahriar was as attached to the Persian language as much as he loved his native language; if some people want to know Iran’s policy about the Persian and Azerbaijani languages, we tell them that Shahriar is our role model, he has composed both in Persian and Azerbaijani. The government also follows this policy of respecting the Azerbaijani language as the native language of the region and the Persian language as the official language of the country, because the Azerbaijani language and other non-Persian languages are considered as cultural assets of the country,” he stated.

Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad-Mehdi Esmaeili also sent a message to the meeting.

He called the Persian language as a cultural element that has always bolstered Iranians’ national identity, and added that the pleasant ambiance of the language has extended beyond national boundaries, impressing its lovers across the world.

Several ensembles also gave performances during the meetings, and a number of scholars were honored for their studies on Shahriar. 

Shahriar was mainly influenced by the poetry of Hafez, a Persian poet who wrote in the 14th century.

Shahriar, who also composed works in Azerbaijani, published his first book of poems in 1929 with prefaces by Persian literature scholars Mohammad-Taqi Bahar, Saeid Nafisi and Pejman Bakhtiari.

“Heidar Babaya Salam” is Shahriar’s most famous Azerbaijani poetry collection, which highlights his birthplace, the village of Heidar Baba.

Photo: An Iranian ensemble performs during a meeting organized at Maqbarat ush-Shoara in Tabriz on September 17, 2021 to celebrate the National Day of Persian Poetry and Literature. (Fars/Ali Hamed-Haqdoost) 


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