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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


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 writings.

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.



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