Ahmad Shamlu, a noted Iranian poet with a free-flowing style who was both at odds with the Iranian monarchy and disappointed with the Islamic movement that ousted it, died on Sunday in a Tehran hospital. He was 74 and lived near Tehran. Shamlu was a longtime advocate of greater political freedom; some of his writings were banned both before and after the Shah of Iran was overthrown in in the Iranian revolution. As a writer put it in a volume of the multivolume reference work ''Contemporary Literary Criticism,'' Shamlu's poetry, ''noted for its linguistic experimentalism and grand imagery, reveals his commitment to freedom of expression. After his death became known, a radio station in Tehran called him Iran's greatest poet and began broadcasting poems by him. He was indeed considered his country's greatest modern poet by admirers.
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Shamlou was arguably the most influential poet of modern Iran. In fact, Abdolali Dastgheib , Iranian literary critic, argues that Shamlou is one of the pioneers of modern Persian poetry and has had the greatest influence, after Nima, on Iranian poets of his era.
For infrastructure and impact, he uses a kind of everyday imagery in which personified oxymoronic elements are spiked with an unreal combination of the abstract and the concrete thus far unprecedented in Persian poetry, which distressed some of the admirers of more traditional poetry.
Shamlou has translated extensively from French to Persian and his own works are also translated into a number of languages. He has also written a number of plays, edited the works of major classical Persian poets, especially Hafiz. His thirteen-volume Ketab-e Koucheh The Book of Alley is a major contribution in understanding the Iranian folklore beliefs and language. He also wrote fiction and screenplays, contributing to children's literature, and journalism. Ahmad was the second child and the only son in a family of six children.
In the manner of many children who grow up in families with military parents, he received his early education in various towns, including Khash and Zahedan in the southeast of Iran, and Mashhad in the northeast, and Rasht in the north.
Shamlou's childhood and adolescent were neither privileged nor easy and home was not an environment that could foster his sensitivities and he often found solace in solitude.
By , his high school education still incomplete, he left Birjand for Tehran. He intended to attend the German-established Tehran Technical School, one of the best secondary schools of that period and learn the German language. He was admitted to this school on the condition that he be demoted two years.
Soon in , he and the rest of the family once again left Tehran to move for Gorgan. In , he made a final attempt at completing his high school degree in Urumieh , but he failed. At age 29, following the fall of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq , Shamlou was arrested for being a member of the communist Tudeh Party of Iran and imprisoned for more than one year. In , he started to write in a literary monthly called Sokhan-no.
He showed inclinations toward socialist ideology. He got a job in the Hungarian embassy as their cultural advisor. His third collection of poems, Metals and Sense , was banned and destroyed by the police. In he was jailed for 14 months.
He became the editor-in-chief of Bamshad literary magazine in Zia Movahed , poet and philosopher commented that "Anyone who reads Fresh Air today can see that this language, this texture, is different from anything else. In contemporary poetry, few have accomplished this kind of rhythm as Shamlou has. Fresh Air was the greatest event in our poetry—after Hafez". His translation of Barefoot , a novel by Zaharia Stancu , was released in , establishing Shamlou's authority as a translator.
In he began publishing short stories for children, as well as directing documentary films and working for film studios.
In , he became editor-in-chief of Ketab-e-Hafte , a magazine that changes the tradition and language of literary journalism in Iran. Two collections of poetry were published in Ayda in Mirror and Moment and Eternity. A new collection of poems was released in Ayda, Trees, Memories and the Dagger , as well as a new translation.
He also began his third attempt to compile The Book of Alley. In , he became editor-in-chief of Khusheh. His new translation of Erskine Caldwell was published, and he participated in the formation of the Union of Iranian Writers and gave several poetry readings at Iranian universities.
The poems debuted at this event appear in a voluminous book edited by Shamlou. Of The Air And Mirrors , a selection of older poetry, was published, together with his collection of new poems, Odes for the Earth. In , Blossoming in Mist was published. He also directed a few documentary films for television and published several short stories for children. In , he redid some of his earlier translations. In , he taught Persian literature at Tehran University.
Several audio cassettes were released of Shamlou reciting other classical and modern poets' work. He obtained membership in the Iranian Academy of Language. He published several new translations and wrote a few film scripts. He traveled to Paris for medical treatment. In , two new collections, Abraham in Fire and Doors and the Great China Wall , were released, along with several new translations.
Shamlou connects his poem to the collective consciousness of the whole world, presenting characters of the hero and even the social scapegoat rather in a curious way as we read about the case of a man who sacrifices himself for land and love and, yet, who is betrayed by others due to their ignorance and biases.
In , he published his work and study of Hafiz. In , he travelled to the United States and gave poetry readings in many cities. In , he published his new poem, Dagger on the Plate. He left Iran in protest of the Shah's regime and stayed in the United States for a year, giving lectures in American universities. In , he left the United States for Britain to act as the editor-in-chief for a new publication called Iranshahr ; he resigned after 12 issues and returned to Iran just after the advent of the revolution.
He rejoined the Union of Iranian Writers and began publishing a new periodical, Ketab-e Jom'e to great success. He was also elected to the membership of the Writer's Union's leadership.
The first and second volumes of The Book of Alley went to print. He was also re-elected as member of the Writer's Union's leadership. Starting in , owing to the harsh political situation in his country, he led a rather secluded life that would last for the next eight years, working with Ayda on The Book Of Ally , as well as many other literary endeavors, including a translation of And Quiet Flows The Don by Mikhail Sholokhov.
In he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature. In he was invited by Interlit, the World Literary Congress. He toured Europe giving many lectures and readings. His complete collection of poems was printed in Germany, and he returned to Iran. In he toured the United States. Several works were published on his poetry and his overall literary contribution. In he toured Europe again and returned to Iran for another four years of intensive work.
In , he toured Sweden, invited by his Swedish editor Masoud Dehghani Firouzabadi, giving numerous lectures and readings. There was a special gathering in Toronto of Iranian writers and critics to discuss Shamlou's contribution to Persian poetry.
His Aurora! Shamlou was married three times. In , he married Ashraf Isslamiya d. They divorced in after several years of conflict and long separation. His second marriage to Tusi Hayeri Mazandarani d. He met Aida Sarkisian in the spring of and they were married two years later in Aida came from an Armenian-Iranian family who lived in the same neighborhood as Shamlou.
Her Christian family objected to the marriage on the basis of the Islamic background of Shamlou's family. Moreover, Shamlou was older, and had been divorced twice. Her name appears in many of his later poems. She currently lives in Karaj. Suffering from several illnesses at the same time, Shamlou's physical condition deteriorated in He underwent several operations and in , his right foot was amputated due to severe diabetic problems.
He died on Sunday, July 23, , at 9 p. Ahmad Shamlou's poetic vision accords with both western Modernist concepts and the modern transformation of classical Persian poetry. One of the disciple of Nima Youshij, Shamlou, standing among the generation who adopted his techniques, constantly sought untried ways, new poetic realms.
Shamlou is known for employing the style and words of the everyman. He developed a simple, free poetic style, known in Iran as Sepid Persian Poetry literally meaning white , which is a kind of free verse that departs from the tightly balanced rhythm and rhymes of classical Persian poetry. The themes in his poetry range from political issues, mostly freedom, to human condition. Even though his focus is the purity of such individuals, many of whom were his close friends, Shamlou writes his elegiac poems boldly and does not hold back from criticizing and denouncing hypocrisy and cruelty of his society.
Shamlou was a Marxist and a socially minded intellectual who has woven personal love and affection together with his social attitudes. He was a major force in the intellectual movement opposed to the former Shah of Iran before the revolution.
During his long life, Shamlou was politically active and imprisoned twice, first after the end of World War II and then after the coup , but he continued to remain socio-politically active by writing poems devoted to political and social critique even after the Iranian Revolution. In , he left his country as a form of protest against censorship and the suffocating political atmosphere.
In , one year before the collapse of Shah's Regime, he signed an open letter which supported the rights of gathering for members of The Writers Association of Iran. Since the early s his poems have appeared in many literary journals. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in Persian. January Click [show] for important translation instructions.
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Ahmad Shamlu, 74, Poet and Iranian Dissident
Therefore he received his primary education from the schools around Iran. In Shamlou left high school to enrol in the technical College of Tehran. In His father took him to the north of Iran which was occupied by the Soviet Army. Shamlou was arrested by the Red Army for his political ideas and is sent to Rasht.
If you have any suggestions or questions please do not hesitate to contact us at the following addresse: Webmaster shamlu. Jul 9, Shamlu. Feb 22, Some new books and tapes and CD's has been added to Shamlu's book store. Now, you can find most of his publications online in here. Oct 22, New French Translations has been added to translation section.
Ahmad Shamlu , Iranian poet born Dec. A fierce opponent of both the shah and the repressive Islamic Revolution that deposed him, Shamlu was briefly imprisoned under the shah and was treated with contempt by the Islamic regime; his books were officially banned but were privately circulated in Iran among admirers of his work. Ahmad Shamlu. Info Print Cite.