Monday, December 26, 2016

MEHDI AKHAVAN SALESS : A TOWERING MODERN POET FROM IRAN


                                                                                                                   
                                                                           




                          ( MEHDI AKHAVAN SALESS)


Didi delā, ke yār nayāmad
Gard āmad o savār nayāmad
Bogdāt šamʿ o sut sarāpāy
Vān ob-e zarnegār nayāmad
(Original in Persian)

O heart, you saw that the loved one did not come
The dust came and the rider did not come
The candle burnt to the end
But the golden dawn did not come.
( Mehdi Akhavan Saless )


MEHDI AKHAVAN SALESS ( 1929-1990 )

What Noon Meem Rashid is to urdu poetry or Nirala is to Hindi Poetry, Mehdi Akhavan Saless is on similar footing to Persian Poetry . He is considered as pioneer of Blank verse In Persian Poetry .

Mehdi Akhavan Saless was born  in 1928 in Mashhad, Iran. He completed his elementary education in Mashad and entered the city's Technical School  in 1941 to study Metallurgy .   He graduated in 1947.

 Apart from writing poetry , Saless worked as school Teacher ,college Lecturer , Film Editor ( Ebrahim Golestan’s film Production ) , Radio And TV Program Presenter and University Teacher .

He was a friend and contemporary of Forugh Farrokhzad, Ahmed Shamlou and Sohrab Sepehri.

He was a primary influence in developing what came to be known as "New Poetry" ( Sher e Nau ) in Persian Poetry .

His poems are intense in feelings , simple in language and laced with symbolic Metaphors drawn from ancient Iranian civilization .Many critics say that his poems bring forth a silent sadness that possibly originated from his lonely soul.  From my study , I  need to add that  the annoyance and disillusionment appearing in  Akhavan’s work    represents  an orderly disagreement with political-social events. It  also reflects solitude and seclusion of a man set against overpowering   circumstances .

He remained an admirer of Gurudev Tagore and Buddha .

In 1990,  he visited Germany,  England, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and France .  In every country , He received  an Icon’s  reception and welcome during this trip.

                                                    


                         (A SKETCH OF MEHDI AKHAVAN SALESS)

Akhavan died of a heart attack in Tehran .  He tomb is close to  FIrdausi’s  Mausoleum in Tus (Mashhad,  Iran ).

He used  OMID ( Hope ) as his pen name .Saless Published about 15 poetic collections .

I post some poems of Saless …

(1)
(THE EXCUSE )
Yes,
you are that which the heart desires.
But,
alas!
It is a long time since that bloody pigeon,
the searcher of the lost enchanted tower, has flown.

(2)
(THE MOMENT OF MEETING)
The moment of meeting is near
Once again, I am mad, intoxicated;
Once again trembles my heart, my hand,
As if I am in a different world;
Ah! razor, cut not my face in neglect;
Ah! wind, disturb not my hair’s delight,
Heart, embarrass me not,
The moment of meeting is near.

(3)
(THE LEAFLESS GARDEN )
The cloud with its cold and damp skin
Has embraced the heaven tightly;
The leafless orchard
Is alone day and night
With his pure and sad silence.
His lyre is rain and his song is wind,
His garment is of nudity cloak,
And if another garment it must wear,
Let his Warf and woof be woven by golden ray.
It can grow or not grow, wherever he wants or doesn’t want;
There is neither a gardener nor a passer by.
The depressed orchard
Expects no spring.
If his eye sheds no warm luster
And on his face no leaf of smile grows,
Who says the leafless orchard is not beautiful?
It relates the tale of fruits raising their heads to the heaven,
and now lying in the base coffin in earth.
The leafless orchard,
His laughter is tearful blood,
Mounted for ever on his wild yellow stallion,
It roams in autumn, the king of seasons.

(4)
(TWO WINDOWS )
Like two windows across from each other
We were aware of every quibbles of another
Everyday greetings, questions and laughters
Everyday an appointment for the next day.
It was not the act of the sun,
Or the magic of the moon
Curse the voyage which has done this:
Now I am heart-broken and silent
' Because one of the windows is closed.

(5)
(ANCIENT LAND )
From all meaningless earthly possessions, if I acclaim
Thee oh ancient land, I adore
Thee oh ancient eternal great
If I adore any, thee I adore
Thee oh priceless ancient Iran
Thee oh valuable jewel, I adore
Thee ancient birthplace of the great nobles
Thee famous creator of the greats, I adore
Thine art and thoughts shines through the world
Both thine art and thine thoughts I adore
May it be legend or history
Critics and ancient stories, all I adore
Thine fantasy, I worship as truth
Thine reality, as news I adore
Thine Ahuramazda and Yazatas, I revere
Thine glory and Faravahar, I adore
To thine ancient prophet, I take an oath
Who is a bright and wise sage, I adore
The noble Zarathustra, more so than
All other sages and prophets, I adore
Humanity better than him has not seen and will not see
This noblest of humanity I adore
His trios are the greatest guide for the world
This impactful yet brief guide, I adore
This great Iranian was a leader
This Iranian leader I adore
He Never killed, nor asked others to kill
This noble path I adore
This truthful ancient sage
Who went beyond the legend, I adore
The eternal intellect of the glorious Mazdak
From all angles and aspects, I adore
He died bravely in the war with injustice
That just lion-heart I adore
Global and just thoughts he had
More of his thoughts in our path I adore
Praising thine great Mani
The artist and messenger I adore.

(6)
Zemestan or WINTER remains his master Piece . I add select lines from Zemestan ..
( WINTER)
“And if you ever greet them
they will not pause one instant
to greet you back.
The air is heavy, the doors are closed,
Heads hang lowly, and hands are cloaked.
Your breath turns to a dark shadow,
Hearts are fading away under the sway of sorrow.
The trees are naked, like frozen, forsaken bones,
Earth is desolate, Sky is falling down.
Moon and Sun are lost behind Loads of Litter:
It is, indeed,
The Reign of Winter.”
“O My Honest Saviour!
O My Old Virtuous Companion!
I hail you with reverence and respect!
Welcome me back!
Open me your door!
It is me, it’s me: Your visitor of all nights!
It is me, it’s me: The sorrowful errant!
It is me: The discarded, The beaten stone!
It is me: The injury to Creation; The song out of tune!
Recall? Not the black, not the white: The colourless buffoon!
Come and open me the door!
I am freezing; open the door before!”
“Tonight I am here to reimburse you in mass!
I am here to go clear in front of a wine-glass!
Do not say “It’s late; it’s almost the crack of dawn!”
The sky is deceitful with its blushed fawn!
This red is not from the rays of light;
The red is the imprint of this cold’s shameless clout!
The pendant of the bosom of the heavens, Sun,-dead or afoot-
is buried, obscured, beneath the weight of a nine-storey vault!
O Counterpart! O Generous Host!
Pour wine into the glass to light up this bitter exile:
You see? In this winter days and nights are equal."


(7)
Some select lines from his poem Dandelion.

( DANDELION )
Dandelion ! Say, from where you are coming,
From where and what news you have brought?
May you bring good tidings!, but
In vain you roam
Around my roof and door.
I don’t expect any news,
Neither from a friend, nor from a native district;
Go to such a place where ears and eyes watch you;
Go to such a place where they expect you.
Dandelion!,
Everything is blind and deaf in my heart,
Stop lurking here where the self is a stranger to its soul "
So Long so much ...


( Autar Mota )

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