Literature of Iran

Mohammad Reza Shafii Kadkani

by: Manavaz Alexandrian

Mohammad Reza Shafii Kadkani (1939)

Better known as a scholar and commentator of classic texts than a modern poet, Shafii Kadkani does not enjoy the boldness, discipline and polish of Nima, Akhavan Saless, Shamlou or Forough.

But one cannot take his poetry lightly. Even a single stanza may reflect an art in full perfection and with even one stanza he can be remembered as a good poet.

Shafii started his education in Meshed in theological since and received his PhD degree in Persian literature in Tehran. His ample knowledge of religious texts and classic Persian poetry was the platform, on which he built his poems. His lines are firm in diction and imagery, yet his respect for the class poetry places him closer to the classic poetry. Kadkani is a universal figure in literary research and has taught in Oxford, Princeton and Pennsylvania universities. He has many works of commentary poetry and literature.

Murmuring, Nocturnal Reading, From the Language of the Leaf, In Neishabour Garden Alleys, From Naught to Singing, Like Tree in A Rainy Night and The Scent of Moulian Stream

Passage, Translated to English by M. Alexandrian
The march continues and night walks at the margin,
The mountain heights and plains of the traveler
Have found their shape again and brightness
- which is the creator of existence -
Created them again.

The march continues and from the window of the train
I send my love greetings to the mountains and plains 
- For the young running brook is a bright youth in an old 
burning desert -
The freshness of the open and morning air
From the tresses of a girl - who has let fall the stream of the hairs on the shoulder of the wind through the window -
I relate a true and lovely tale.

The march continues and at the break of morning
The pistachio trees alongside the road,
Have bestowed their green peace to the stream
And the annual growth of the tender vine trees
- After enduring the ugliness of a brown color -
Have bestowed their soreness to the cloud, wind, water and sun.

The march continues and amid surprised fields,
The wild pigeons, from around the wells,
Are looks of surprise towards the sky,
Which march and march and march
Beyond belief, on the other side of whim.

The march continues and the loving message of deserts to clouds,
The eternal greeting of the breezes to hills,
The tender and soft prostration of valleys,
The pure and snow coated pride of mountain peaks,
The innocent march of flocks in the plains,
The green grazing of sheep, rams and lambs.

The march continues and spring with all its vastness
Carries me who have been left behind caged in the city
Towards boundless spheres,
And thankful of all this purity and freedom - more free than God -
I bestow all my existence 
- Which is a moment of a strange song of the lawn -
To your vastness.
Time continues and the journey ends.


Contemporary Persian Poets


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