Persian Poetry is an abiding cultural treasure with timeless relevance and popularity.
The Persian language, Farsi, is considered to be a language made for poetry. The rise to prominence dates back thousands of years to the 10th century but was inspired by themes emerging centuries earlier.
Prominent Japanese Iranologist Emiko Okada, Ph.D. in Persian Literature from the University of Tehran has called Iran “The land of poetry and literature”.
Kimia Raghebi’s blog article expands on the topic with additional detail about the poets who contributed to the historic body of work.
Iranians and descendants of other modern-day countries of the Persian empire hold dear the works of their ancient poets and significant role of Persian poetry in preserving ethnic traditions, customs, legends and folklore. People of Iran live with poetry. Books of the revered poetry are found in most Iranian homes. “Reading aloud and memorizing poetry is an enjoyable pastime and part of the daily life of Iranian people” says Okada. The treasured works are passed on to future generations as families, especially the elders, read and recite Persian poetry to their children.
The works of the great masters are in integral inclusion in the annual traditional celebrations of the Persian culture. During Shab-e-Yalda the people gather together, reading the ancient poetry of the masters such as Hafez. The Haft-Sin table of the Nowruz celebration of the New Year and Spring are adorned with items of cultural significance including a book of ancient Persian poetry. Lyrics and themes of contemporary songs include passages from this enduring poetry.
The National Day of Persian Poetry and Literature is observed every year on the death anniversary of contemporary poet Tabrizi . Magnificent tombs and sculptures pay homage these masterful, mystical poets as travelers from near and very far come to connect with wisdom, guidance and inspiration of the classical Persian poets.
Although various poetic styles are attributed to particular poets the sentiments expressed included themes of the human need for joy, love and unrequited love, humanity, philosophy related to wisdom, introspection, the meaning and the inherent angst of life, the beauty of the natural world, and heroism to name a few.
Hafez and Rumi wrote in the lyrical (Ghazal) which uses mystical Sufi mystics concepts expressing that one can grow closer to God through His remembrance and working on the inner self.