Literature of Iran

Ahmad Shamlou

by: Manavaz Alexandrian

Ahmad Shamlou (1925-1999)

Ahmad Shamlou is one of the most famous contemporary poets in Iran and the world. Born in Tehran he spent his childhood in various provincial towns and in his early youth he was engaged in political activity. He has edited and founded many artistic and literary journals, always opening opportunities for young poets to display their talents. Shamlou has translated many fictions and poetry from the French.

He is the most influencing poet among Iran contemporary poets. He rose to fame from his third volume of poetry, Fresh Air, which he published in 1957.

Shamlou was untiring explorer of new fields to expand the metrical and verbal resources of poetry. His latest poems reveal new tendencies towards blank verse with a fresh, lyrical outlook on life.

Fresh Air, Garden of Mirrors, Aida in the Mirror, Phoenix Under the Rain, Elegies of the Earth, Abraham in Fire, The Dagger in the Plate, Small Songs in Exile, Commendations Without Prize

by: Fanous Bahadr-vand
Ahmad Shamlou (1925-1999)
"I prefer the poetry to be a trumpet than a lullaby."

Ahmad Shamlou was born in a cold day of December. His father was an army man, so they had to travel town to town. Soon, he learned to think about his district and hard situation, which had undoubted remained for years. Love, justice and freedom are the great subjects, involving his poetic mind. He wrote more than thousands of poems and he translated many books.

The great Iranian poet has established new form of modern poetry, which is called "White Poetry", the combination of inner music of the words and sounds.

After 50 years literary attempts, as a writer, journalist, translator and above all, a successful poet, he passed away in the heat of an August day in 1999.

As Nima is called "The Father of Poetry", Shamlou also is called "The Father of White Poetry". He said: "Poetry is not about life, it is exact life"; "Poetry is the music complex grown within me"; "I was born... There hadn't been a celebration for my birth, not an extra lantern had been lit, except that ordinary little oil lamp, and it hadn't risen a sound of a tambourine and a guitar, and ears had not touch the voice of a hired musician, nobody was invited unless neighboring women..."

Some of his poetries works are:
Fresh Air, Blooming in the Fog, Ida in the Mirror, Abraham upon Fire, The Garden of Mirror, Little Songs of Exile, Ida; Tree, Dragger and Memory, The Earth's Lamentation, Manifesto, Within Threshold, Moments and Always

"Let stand on my own earth to hear my own growth voice".
The Dark Song, by Ahmad Shamlou; Translated to English by Fanous Bahadr-vand
Upon the Plum beaus back ground
of morning
the rider
is standing silent
and perturbs
his horses long mane in the wind.

O' God O' God
riders shouldn't be standing
The time that
Happening is warned
beside the burned hedge

The girl
is standing silent
and her thin skirt
is shaking in the wind.


Contemporary Persian Poets


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