حیدربابایا سلام / سه زبانه

Shahriar

   Seyyed Mohammad Hossein Behjat Tabrizi  (۱۹۰۶ to1988) well known by his pen name “Shahryar”, the great contemporary  poet of Iran has made poems both in Farsi and his mother tongue Turkish language. He has been popular since he was a student in medical course but since the last years of his forties, he was more popular for making his masterpiece, Hail to Heydar baba, in his mother tongue.

    Mohammad Hossein was born in Tabriz in (1285)1906[1]. His father was a well know lawyer and a very helpful man. He introduces his father in Heydarbaba as the following:

           My father was a generous man,

           He was always ready to give hands to the tribe,

           He was the last of beauties,

           After him everything has been changed,

           The light of the kindness has been faded.

    As there was unrest because of the constitutional revolution of Iran in  ۱۹۰۶ in Tabriz, his father had to send his family to, Khoshknab, his father land. The Natural beauty of the village and simple hearted kind people, so impressed little Mohammad Hossein that he made one of his best works of art, Hail to Heydarbaba, addressing the mount in that village nearly forty years after leaving.

      He began his first education in Maktab, by studying Qoran, Hafez Divan, Gholestan of Sadi, and Nassab   by cleric teacher of the village, Molla Ebrahim, whom he presents his deep respect to him in Hail to Heydarbaba. His father helped him in early education and taught him the skill of calligraphy too.

      After returning to Tabriz he followed his education in Fuzat and Mottahedin[2] high school. He also learned French and Arabic language very well.

       In (1300)1921, he was sent to Tehran to follow his studies in Darol- Foonoon, the first and  only Poly technical school of modern style at that time in Tehran which was established in 1230(1851) in time of Ghajar Dynasty by Amir Kabir[3]. After finishing high school level, he followed his studies in medical science there. He was not only known as one of the top students of the course but also as a young highly beloved and passionate poet.

       He had the chance of being introduced to the Top poet of that time, Mohamad Taghi Bahar, Malek ol shoara, and being friend with the most famous musician Saba. He loved music and leaned to play Sitar near Saba. He played so nice and with full feeling that Saba loved to listen to his playing and believed that Shahriar  played with his heart. Their friendship remained till the end of their life.

        When he was a student a selection of his poems was published with introductions by Malek ol Shoara Bahar a poet, Saeid Nafisy the writer and researcher and Pejman Bakhtiari a poet. Bahar has mentioned Shahriar as the hope of not only Iran but the hope of the East in poetry[4].

          In the last year of his studies close to sit for final exam he fell in love with a girl named Soraya, whom he used to call her Pary. There were lots of problems, mainly political, and he was nearly sent to death. He not only could not get the girl but also had to stop his studies and was sent to exile to Neyshaboor, a city near Mashhad the holy city of Iran.

     His failure in love had a great impact in his life and changed it completely. He never finished medical course but have got to be a great poet.

       In Neyshaboor he could meet Kamal ol molk, the great artist and painter of Iran who was on exile too. This was a big opportunity for him in his hard condition.

    In( 1314)1935, his father died and left him with a great grief. How difficult was for him to go back to Tehran where he had buried his sweet memories. Shortly after that his elder brother died too. Then as an elder son he was in charge of a big family. He found a job in agriculture office as a financial officer and began to take care of his family.

   Under the pressure of the difficulties, he became seriously ill. Hearing about his illness, Pary came to hospital to call on him. IT was after that visit he wrote his most popular poem,”You ,whom I scarify my life for, came , but why now?” (Amadi janam be ghorbanat vali hala chera?’) The beginning lines are as the following:

      ‘’you , whom I scarify my life for, came but why now?”

   “My disloyal sweet heart, why now,now that I am ruined?”

      “You are an antidote coming after Sohrab’s death ”[۵]

     “ My stone hearted love, you should have come earlier,

        why now?”

 Since then his poem has been so popular that the people  use the words as proverb. May be because of the true love, feeling, and the story behind it.

       In (1320)1941 his illness was so serious that his mother came to Tehran to look after him. As he mentions in the introduction to Heydarbaba, her motherly nursing saved him physically and the music of her voice, her kind words retelling the past stories and sweet happenings, revived his old memories and saved him spiritually. That was the base for making his best work of art in Turkish language, Hail to Heydarbaba.

       In (1331)1952 his mother died and left him alone in great grief and sorrow. He has presented his deep feeling and his love in” O My Mum”( Ey Vay Madaram), a New Style poem in mourning for her. In part nine he says:

               “No, she is not dead as I’m still alive,

                 She is alive in my grief, my poem and my dream,

                 Whatever my poetical heritage is, it is from her,

                Could the center of the kindness and light be silent?

                Could lionhearted woman die! She has given birth

                to Shahriar;

                The one whose heart is alive in love, never dies!”

    Soon after her mother’s death he left Tehran with all sweet and bitter memories, and went back to Tabriz his home town. The people accepted him very warmly and respectfully.   Nearly thirty two years earlier, he, as a young boy, had left Tabriz by Caravan(travelers) to follow his studies, and then, was back as a famous poet of Iran by train.

       In (1332)1953 he got married with his cousin Azizeh Abdolkhaleghi, who was a teacher.  They had three children. He named his first daughter Shahrzad, and the younger one Maryam. The third child was a boy named Hadi. They lived together in their own house in Maghsoodieh which is now dedicated to be a Shahriar Museum by his family.

       After his arrival he released, Hail to Heydar baba, which he had made between(1329 to 1331)1950 to 1952 in his mother’s will. It was very popular even before publishing. Many poets from all over Iran and neighbor countries came to visit him and so did his old friends. He was at the center of attention though internally he felt lonely.

     In (1336) 1957 the collection of his poems in Farsi were prepared in four volumes for the first time; three volumes were published but the third one got the permission to come out ten years later. Shahriar in a preface for his book mentions that it was because of the Second World War and the problems created after war for Iran in every aspects of life and in society especially in Press.[6] That volume was named Shahriar’s School of work and consisted of his poems in New Style naming: ”O my Mum”( Ey Vay Madaram), “A Massage to Einstein”(payam be Einstein) and also the translation of first part of, Hail to Haydarbaba, in Farsi, which he himself  had selected from two different translations  by Pari Jahanshahi and Nahid Hadi his friends’ daughters.[7]

        The ministry of education honored him by naming a day and a school “Shahriar”.

 Tabriz University honored him by offering Honorary Doctorate of Literature and inviting him to teach literature there. Today not only in Tabriz where  are many streets and parks nominated by his name, but also in all over Iran you could not find a city that there is not at least a school nominated by his name.

      In( 1351)1972 his elder daughter, Shahrzad, was accepted to follow her studies in university of Tehran, so the family moved in to Tehran again.

       The dean of the Tehran University for showing his respect offered a big house to be bought for them. Hearing the offer Shahriar was very sad and didn’t accept the offer. He asked his friend to thank the dean of the university while he was reciting the following lines of a poem by Hafez:

         “Though I’m poor, I would be ashamed of my ambition,

           If I were impure even by the water of the Sun spring.”[۸]       Unfortunatly, his wife died by heart attack in Tehran during their short stay. That was another bitter experience for him in Tehran .The family left Tehran to Tabriz broken hearted.

        Staying in Tabriz was a fruitful part of his life. His big happiness was receiving top and ordinary poets and people, students and teachers from all over the country. Among the visitors was the Supreme Leader of Iran Mr. Ali Khamnehi who gave a visit to him twice in time of his presidency.

          Shahriar had a fair understanding of Koran and real believe in God. He valued and believed in morality. He admired Emam Ali, the first Emam of Shiat Moslems. In a poem dedicated to him, “O’ Ali the bird of bliss” (Ali ey Homaye rahmat) he says

             “Poor beggar go and knock Ali’s door!

              Who is so generous to give the king’s ring to a poor.

              Who else but Ali tells his son: “Tolerate with the

              Captive as my murderer is your prisoner now.””

     He hated war and had a dream of a day that all nations could live in peace together. In a “Message to Einstein” he warns him by saying:

    “Opponent is making bomb of your vision and discovery!

      Einstein the Dragon of the war!”

         And in last part of the poem he says:

     “Einstein step upper to the world of reason,

      There you could see Moses, Jesus and Mohammad next to

        Each other,

      Take the Love Key and solve this puzzle,

       If possible, open this old lock in reason,

       Einstein step upper,

        Find the God too!”[۹]

   During his stay in Tabriz he made poems mainly in his mother tongue, naming “Sahandieh”, “My Grand Mum“ (Khan Nana) and “My Martyred Child“(Shahid Balam)”.“Sahandieh” is written in response to Sahand’s poem addressing Shahriar, which was so inspiring that made Shahriar to make his second work of art. Shahriar couldn’t see the collection of his Turkish poems though he knew that it was preparing to be published by Professor Hamid Mohammadzadeh. It came out by Mr. Mohammadzad’s detailed and perfect introduction.

      In the closing part of Sahandieh, addressing Sahand, he introduces himself as the following:

             “I am Ali’s son, the noble men’s target,

             The torch for the darkness,

             The leader for the lightness,

             The speaker of the truth and faith,

             Having unbreakable shield on my head

                And ever sharp sword in my hand.”[۱۰]

      Shahriar was inborne poet and lived a poetical life. He was an intelligent, kind, generous and learned gentleman. He wrote about love, peace and paying attention to each other as a human being. He died on September 18th 1988 in Mehr hospital in Tehran.

      His body was taken to Tabriz. There were thousands of people to receive him in the Airport and company him to the mausoleum of Poets (Maghbarat o Shoara) in Tabriz. The design of the place is like an open book and there are buried about six hundred Azerbyjani poets. Shahriar’s statue is located in front of his tomb in the center. The visitors who go to Tabriz always choose Maghbarat o Shoara and Shahriar’s house for their first place to visit though there are many places like Bazar, Arg of Tabriz, Blue Masque, Museums and may other historical places to visit.

                                                                               Rahimeh Abbasi

[۱]– .Zahedi   the introduction to fourth volume of first edition (1957) repeated in P 59, Shahriar Divan, Volume  one of two, 9th edition, Zarrin and Negah publication, 1980, Tehran.

.Shahrzad Behjat Tabrizi Shahriar’s   daughter, P 25, An Step to Shahriarology, Fourough Azadi publication 1991, Tabriz.

۲-Zahedi, P9 the same

[۳] -Mehrzad   Broujerd , Iranian Intellectuals and The West ,translated by Jamshid Shirazi, P 89 footnote, Firoozan Publication,2005, Tehran.

[۴] Manoochehr Mortazavi, P23,introduction to first edition, repeated in  Shahriar Divan, first Volume of two,9th edition, Zarrin and Negah publication,1980,Tehran,

[۵]– Refers to Rostam and Sohrab tale in Shahnameh  of Ferdosi

[۶] -Shahriar, a preface to third Volume, repeated in P 72, Volum one of two of Shahriar Divan, Zarrin and Neghah,9th edition, 1980, Tehran.

[۷] -Shahriar,P644,Shahriar divan, first Volume of two, Zarrin and Negah publication, 1980, Tehran

[۸] -Hosain Shahsavarani, P139, Visiting the Friend, collection of papers of International Congress on Shahriar, 1998 Tehran.

[۹] Shahriar,P527,Shahriar Divan, Volume one of two,1980Tehran

[۱۰] Shahriar,P68,the Collection of Shahriar poems in Turkish, 22nd edition, Zarrin and Neghah publication,2008Tehran

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