August 3, 2000
Shamlou no Hafez
I came across a letter
about Shamlou and was saddened. Altough I can't deny that Shamlou was
a notable poetic figure in the contemporary Iranian poetry scene, to suggest
that he is the ranks of Hafez, Rumi or Saadi, only shows the depth of ignorance
about these three stalwarts of Persian literature.
Those three masters together with others like Ferdowsi (who was the
subject of Mr. Shamlou's meglomaniac rantings) have defined what we call
the correct form and structure of our Farsi language.
If we are proud of our literary heritage today it is because of such
masters and many more who have contributed to the richness of our language
throughout the centuries by composing poetry in various forms (ghazal,
ghasideh, masnavy, etc).
You may not like the classical poetry, but even modernists such as Naderpour
(whom I value much more highy than Shamlou and his likes), Moshiri, Ebtehaj
and even Khoiee have observed some degree of "vazn" in their
Mr. Shamlou's lasting memory is his alliance with the Iranian loony
left who remain his loyal fans and he is only "great" in their
circles and by their definitions.
It is sad to see that some twenty years after the great disaster was
brought upon us by worshiping an individual, we haven't learned our lesson
and keep worshipping someone one way or the other.