Manavaz Alexandrian

Literature of Iran

Esmail Shahroudi


Esmail Shahroudi (1925-1360)

Born in Damqan in 1925, Shahroudi received his secondary education in Shahroud and then moved to Tehran, where he received master's degree in literature. For a few years he assisted in the composition of Dehkhoda Encyclopedia, then he lectured in universities and served as UNESCO expert.

Shahroudi's poems echo his anxiety for his people and in his recent poems he employs direct and simplified syntax to describe abstract intellectual themes. His poems are modern but independent of contemporary poets and he essays much to break from traditional classic poetry. 

The Last Battle, The Future, O You Who Gather in a Meeting, Roads, Roads, Roads from Every Direction

Exertion (Inspired by Symphony No. 5, Beethoven)
O... city gatekeeper!,
Open the gate! -
- Unbar the bar -
For I cannot

They have shut 
The gate of love and life
In my face,
And they have filled my heart
With pain and regret.

I have remained lonely,
And disappointments and frustrations have caused me to become a hermit,
But I shall leave behind
The wreckage of this loneliness
And like the cloud and the air
I will become free,
And I will cross
The valley of terror
Which lies between now 
And the future world;
And I will unfold the high fountains of hope
To pour drops of victory,
To pour waves of color,
To sing epics,
And to press 
The throat
Of my many years of suffering,
And bring down
My disturbing slumber of disappointment
From the height,

O... city gatekeeper!,
Open the gate! -
- Unbar the door -
For I can't

And now
With this angry tempest the wind
Returns to anything bearing a name
From the farthest point in this plain
From a loud shriek that lifts 
Another clay wall set on the clay wall of battlement of terror...;
Open up!

the gate!
So that you can see in my lively exertion,
A man,
And read the suffering,
And hear about a love!

Open up,
I will calm your tired expectation
With the sound of my footsteps.

Open up,
My stranger,
For I have trodden a long way to the realm of friendship,
And have suffered much,
Open up!

Open up
Before the burning and restless approaching chill 
Has not uttered its last warning;
Open up!

Open up,
Gatekeeper, I say! -


Contemporary Persian Poets


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