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
"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
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
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
"Let stand on my own
earth to hear my own growth voice".
Dark Song, by Ahmad Shamlou; Translated to English by Fanous
the Plum beaus back ground
is standing silent
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
is standing silent
and her thin skirt
is shaking in the wind.