Poetry is an important part of Persian culture. Not only it is popular among the educated, but also the less educated (unlike in the "west"); in Iran, even the illiterate understand the language of poetry. While we have a wide range of poets with different styles of work, from classic to more contemporary, people of all classes and backgrounds are familiar with a number of leading Persian poets.
One poet whose poetry is cherished and recited on daily basis is Sohrab Sepehri. Known for his modern mystic poetry, Sohrab’s delicate view on life and nature invites the readers to constantly question their beliefs and views.The Water’s Footsteps in which he cherishes his simple life and appreciates what he has as well as questioning the most basics traditions and beliefs of his reader, is one of the most famous and widely memorized poems in Iran.
I recently received an email from Iran where the author, mimicking Sohrab’s poem, was pointing to the current states of Iranian youths.
Take a look at its translation:
I’m getting my degree in “time-wasting”
My pockets are empty
I have a father,
Whose dream is to be able to fall sleep at night
Friends, who are all bad influences
And a god who has turned away from me
I’m from a University where,
I blindly follow my Professor
And I pray for good grades
I understand very well that my future is “unemployment”
I don’t understand why they say “business men are doing well”
And “engineers have no jobs”
We must wash our eyes
And see differently
We must be afraid of smart people and
Complain about the price of knowledge
And tell people that
today I realized this
And I say “to hell with all forms of arts and sciences”