A Conversation with Modern Persian Poets, Volume 1

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Mazda Publishers, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 164 pages
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"In 1965 Prof. Girdhari Tikku arranged for a meeting of some of the best poets of the time and led them into a conversation about their work. A Conversation with Modern Persian Poets presents the transcription and translation of two afternoons of taped conversation among a group of poets including Ahmad Shamlu, M. Tehrani Azad, Mehdi Akhavan-e Sales, and Forugh Farrokhzad, all major poets of modern Persian literature following Nima's revolutionary work. Their discussion ranges over many topics: their views of what poetry should be and do, the political struggle over what and who constitutes ""modern Persian poetry,"" the nature of the new directions which Nima opened for poetry and the different features of his work which these poets have chosen to pursue or reject, the relations of both Nima's work and their own to classical Persian poetry. They query what makes a poem a good poem, or even a poem at all, and whether there are particular qualities of a poet. They argue over the the uses of meter or other limitations necessary to make a poem what it is, and whether certain kinds of content are more likely to give value to a poem. They discuss whether, or to what extent, poetry can be translated - indeed to what extent a poet can ever communicate fully even with others who share the same language. Finally they consider whether the poet should have an audience in mind, and conclude that poetry has a social aspect even when written primarily for oneself. As this group of poets almost never gathered together in this manner, the two afternoons transcribed here are a truly unique event. The conversations, which have never before been published, offer many insights into how these important poets thought about their work and their situation in the history of Persian culture."

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