Manavaz Alexandrian

Literature of Iran

Fereidoun Tavallali

Poet, Novelist & Translator

Fereidoun Tavallali (1919)

Born in Shiraz, Fereidoun Tavallali wrote according to the classical rules of thyme and rhythm, before his acquaintance with Nima. An archaeologist by profession, he was very popular with more traditional audiences. His poetry largely descriptive in nature and lyrical in mood, at times appears outdated and quaint, when read in conjunction with the mainstream of Persian poetry of last generation. His conventional sentimentalism, his courtly tone and formal gestures and his lack of true social purpose, overshadows his mastery of poetic image and his felicity of language. A few poems, nevertheless, retain the force of genuine originality.

In addition to poetry, Fereidoun has written a collection of satirical sketches in rhythmic prose and occasion verse, in which he demonstrates his mastery of rhythmic language and rhyme. He has also translated lyrical poems from the French Romantic poets, many of which have inspired the romanticism of his own poems.

In the auburn shade under the silver moon
in a misty glow, somber and tempting
she is lying there, the hands of the wind
caress her ebony hair, flowing and soft, 
a dark silhouette in the light of night.

A stream flows, water whispering
the mournful song of parted lovers,
in its breast it bears the load of love
the living anguish of the dead.

in the cold morbid moonlight the mountain
creeps in my eye like a distant desire
like an expectant aura
or like a women's body, delicate and seductive
dressed in silk,
through green, peaceful meadows
night passes on tiptoe.

She, the spirit of my desire, image of my dreams
burns in the flames of her thoughts
and sings in the luminous face of the moon
the tale of my passion and her own


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