Iraj Mirza  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Iraj Mirza (1874 - 1926) (titled Jalaalolmamalek), son of Gholam Hossein Mirza, was a famous Iranian poet famous for his rendition of The Mother's Heart.


Iraj is considered as one of the famous contemporary poets of Iran and also as the first Iranian master of colloquial poetry. In his verses he uses the actual words of everyday speech. The origin of this tendency has come to be identified with his name. (Centuries earlier, the poet Ferdowsi in his epic book of Shahnameh had referred to someone by the name of Iraj as an Iranian who is noble and wise). Through Iraj, poetic language was enriched with many colloquial words and expressions. His simple poetic language is also famous for its witticism and satire.

During Qajar era, Iraj was influenced by the Iranian or Persian Constitutional Revolution (1906-1911) and by the changing circumstances in the country. This fact is manifested in the particular style of poetry that he created. Modern and imported concepts, combined with what were obtained from his own thoughts, form the framework of his style. He criticizes the social conditions of the country, and the striking originality in his use of metaphor when addressing diverse social problems has been admirable by his critics. His style is rich in the Art of Simile (in Persian: Honar-e-Tashbeeh). His striking sarcasm, pungent and fanged words are pointed at the dishonest clergy, businessmen, merchants (in Persian: Baazari-Haa) and statesmen. In addition to those colloquial poems, Iraj also composed elegies (in Persian: Soognameh or Marssieh) to praise Mozzafar-al-Din Shah, Hassan Ali Khan Garroosy (also known as Amir Nezam Garroosy, the governor of East Azarbaijan and Kermanshah during Qajar era), and many other Qajar historical personalities. His praise never shaded into flattery. Iraj also composed very nice Massnawi and Fragments or Ghata'at (Different Styles of Persian Poetry) on the raising and education of children, maternal affection, love and romance. He was an enlightened, innovative poet, and tended to European thought. Despite his famous technical skills, he sometimes used similar cases of rhyme, which is considered by some poetry researchers as an intentional rejection of strict traditional poetical rules. Although Iraj was one of the pioneers of the innovative movement in the Persian Poetry, he never thought of abandoning the rules of the classic poetry. Some scholars believe that because of the time in which he lived, his depth of literary knowledge and his familiarity with French and other foreign languages, he could also have been one of the masters of free verse if he wanted to.

He is particularly famous for his pederastic and satirical poetry. Among many poems that Iraj composed, his well-known poems include Satan (in Persian: Ebleess), Mother (in Persian: Maadar), A Letter to a Poet Aref Ghazvini (in Persian: Arefnameh), Woman's Picture (in Persian: Tassvir-e-Zan), Story of the Veil or Hijab (in Persian: Daastan-e-Chaador) and the Story of Zohreh and Manouchehr (in Persian: Daastan-e-Zohreh-o-Manouchehr), which is based on William Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis.

In Satan, Iraj explains how a wife maliciously complains against her mother-in-law, and encourages her husband to kill his own Mother and bring the heart for her: A Young Man, ignores the respect of his Mother; pushes her to the ground; cuts her chest and takes her heart out; and goes toward a door. All of a sudden, the man falls as injures. He then clearly hears that his Mother's heart cries as: Oh! My son's hand got cut. Oh! My son's foot was hurt! In this poem Iraj plainly presents the evidence of an Unconditional Love. See The Mother's Heart.

The Story of Zohreh and Manouchehr is one of his famous poetic works. Here Iraj tells the story based on the Greek myth of Venus and Adonis. In this poem, Zohreh leaves the gods and comes to Earth, where she is overcome by the pleasing charm of Manouchehr in his armor. He rejects her advances while Zohreh attempts her first seduction. She goes to great pains to explain the beauty of lovemaking and she finally goes her own way as she returns to the gods. (Just for the record: On December 8, 2004 the last Iranian movies launched in France was The Story of Zohreh and Manouchehr directed by Mitra Farahani. The film had already participated in Berlin film festival and several other international events and attracted many viewers). Iraj was known to believe that the status of Iranian women at his time was devastatingly reminiscent of the Dark Ages. Iraj could not see that life was intolerable, unbearable and miserable for the courageous and valorous women of Iran. That was why he composed the very powerful and memorable pieces of Woman's Picture [1] and the Story of the Veil [2]

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Iraj Mirza" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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