Edited By Soli Shahvar
6. Glimpses of Persian Bahá’í Poetry and Poets
Persia has a long poetic tradition, and so it seems only natural that, from the earliest days of the new revelation in the 1840s down to our time, the Bábís and Bahá’ís of Iran have composed poetry, mainly in Persian, but to a minor degree in Turkish and Arabic as well. Many of the poets have written poetry on both Bahá’í and non-Bahá’í themes. This chapter concerns itself mostly with the large body of poetry that is specifically and openly related to the Bahá’í Faith.
Persian poetry counts among the world’s finest and richest. Its beginnings date back to the mid-ninth century ad. Some two hundred years after the conquest of Iran by the Muslim Arabs, which channelled the course of Persian history and civilization in a new direction, fragments of ‘New Persian’ poetry started to be committed to paper and thus passed on to posterity. Conventions of Arabic poetry had gradually taken deep root in the minds of emerging Persian poets and left evidence of their influence on this newly born poetry, particularly in the formal aspects of its quantitative prosody, rhyme patterns and form. To the typically Arabic forms of qaṣídah [long ode], qiṭ‘ah [fragmentary piece] and the lyrical ghazal [similar to the sonnet], the Persians added the forms of mathnaví [couplets] (suitable for long poems and epics), rubá‘í [quatrain] (epigrams of moral and philosophical quality) and a variety of other strophic verse forms.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.