Art & Culture

Hushang Ebtehaj, renowned Persian poet, dies at 94

Source: ISNA News Agency.

Hushang Ebtehaj, a renowned Persian poet best known for his poems on love, passed away at the age of 94 due to an illness in Germany early on Wednesday morning.

His daughter, Yalda Ebtehaj, confirmed in a social media post that Hushang Ebtehaj, known as Sayeh, is no more.

Amir Hushang Ebtehaj was born on February 25, 1928, in Rasht city, Gailan province in northern Iran, where he had his primary schooling before moving to Tehran. His first collection of poems known as Naghma Ha, the melodies, was published when he was 19 years old.

When he was young, he was also interested in learning painting and sculpture among other arts.

Once he had said that when he was eight to 10 years old he used to have a passion for cooking, and once he learned tailoring for three months, and for some while, he learned music as well.

But poetry was the main area in which Sayeh had the talent and knew how to create balanced, mesmerizing, and interesting poems.

He has created many poetry collections, including his famous book Hafez, by Sayeh, in 1994.

Sayeh and Afghanistan

Ordinary people might not be familiar with Hushang Ebtehaj’s name but they do know the song “Emshab Ba Qesa-e Dil Man Gosh Mekuni,” will you listen to my story tonight, sang by Afghan singer Ahmad Zahir. It was one of the most famous poems by Sayeh.

Some Afghan writers and poets told Amu that Afghanistan’s music in the 1970s had created a unique bond with Sayeh’s poems.

Jawed Farhad, a famous Afghan poet, says Sayeh was a bridge between classic and modern poetry.

“Sayeh was one of the most famous poets of his time and was a strong personality in this arena for three decades… You can find mentions about him and his work in writings by Afghan poets such as Raziq Fan, Ghulam Mohammad Nawid, and Wasif Bakhtari,” he said.

Najib Bawar, another Afghan poet, said Sayeh was interested in poems by poets and writers from Afghanistan and he seemed satisfied with the cultural improvement in Afghanistan.

He said that after the fall of the republic government in Afghanistan last year, he held a poetry session in Iran, and Hushang Ebtehaj listened to his session online while he was feeling ill.

“There was a mutual interest between Sayeh and the people of Afghanistan. When I read one of my poems to him, named Pul, the bridge, he smiled and said is it possible to indoctrinate the birds and trees on both sides of the border? We are the birds of the Persian language,” Bawar said.

Hushang Ebtehaj had written 13 poetry books. Below is one of his poems known as The Wall:

Behind this lofty mountain,

Besides the pale sea,

There was a girl

with whom

I was madly in love.

As if Gali

Had been created

That I should love her fervently,

And she should love me sweetly…

And between me and her,

Now lies this vast plain,

Now this long way,

And this lofty mountain…