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About Sohrab Sepehri:
Many have written about Sohrab. Honestly, he deserves more.
It is always sweet to have something new to offer even if you are physically dead long ago. That’s how many are still alive and live among us, no matter if their body is part of soil now.
Sohrab is one of those whose works give you something new if explored again with washed eyes. He is absolutely right when he says,”eyes must be washed – “ things must be seen in different ways”.
Tonight, I was going through some of his poems to choose for our Persian Literature page, when I noticed something new in his poems. I am not sure if others have mentioned this in their writings about Sohrab. As long as I have not seen such an idea before, it is new for me! So, here it is:
Many have mentioned that Sohrab had great love for Buddha, which is true. Sohrab has clearly admitted to be a Moslem, a Buddhist, and a Christian; although the latter is not well-known to the public (at least as far as I know). He is known as a man filled with love. So, it is not strange if he loved every body!
He is Moslem:
I am Moslem
My Mecca ‘s a red rose
My altar’s a spring
My holy stone’s the light
My prayer mat’s the flat meadow
He is Buddhist
Every river was a sea
Every human being was a Buddha
Finally, in one of his poems, he falls in love with Jesus and seeks him, which has not been either understood or explained so far (at least I have not seen such interpretation so far).
I, in such darkness, am thinking of a light-giving Lamb to come and graze out the grass of my fatigue (Lam refers to Jesus in the scriptures)
I, in such darkness, see my arms hold out to the Rain that answered the first prayers of man.
I, in such darkness, opened the door to the ancient Grass / Branch, to the Golden Lampstands that we saw on the walls of ancient myths
I, in such darkness, saw the roots, and found life in water that overcame death. (To find life in the water that stands against death refers to the baptism)
Although the translation is still far from the original text, you could see the traces of love to Jesus in this poem.
This is what I have never seen in any comments. I hope the critics will not fire me though!
Sohrab Sepehri life calendar in brief:
Born in 1928 – Kashan – Iran
He hosted a painting exhibition – Tehran 1944
He published his first poetry book that followed by a few other books in the same year – 1951
He graduated from the fine arts university with B.A. degree in painting – Tehran – 1953
He translated some Japanese poetry into Persian and published them in a literary magazine called Sokhan – 1955
He traveled to Paris and attended the Paris Fine Arts School in lithography – 1957
He traveled to Tokyo to further his studies in lithography and wood carving – 1960
On the way back to Iran from Japan , he visited India and became familiar with the ideology of Buddhism – 1961
He published three books in poetry – 1960
He traveled to India again and visited several cities and provinces – 1964
He traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan 1964
He traveled to Europe and visited several countries such as Germany – England – France – Spain – the Netherlands – Italy – and Austria – 1966
He published some long poems after he returned to Iran – 1966
He hosted a painting exhibition in Tehran 1967
He published another book in poetry 1967
He traveled to Greece and Egypt – 1974
He published his final book called ‘Hasht Ketab’ (Eight Books), which was the collection of almost all of his published poems in one volume – 1976
He got blood cancer and traveled to England for treatment – 1978
Unfortunately, his attempt to defeat cancer brought him no result. He returned to Iran and died in Pars Hospital in Tehran on Monday April 21, 1980.
This is his biography in brief. Sohrab also hosted several other Painting exhibitions mostly in Tehran during his lifetime.
May his peace-seeking soul rest in peace in heaven. Amen.
Persian Literature and Poetry Online
- Houshang Ebtehaj
- Sohrab Sepehri