Reflecting on Life: My Childhood in Iran where the love of poetry was instilled in me
- Kamran Mofid
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'Persian Poetry; a Precious Tradition, a Necessity for Life'
The poetry that can help you lead a better life
Here's why we shouldn't give up on poetry
Here’s why we need daily doses of poetry to nourish our hearts and nurture our souls
Manuscript of Hafez Diwan, decorated with Persian Tazhib drawings
Poetry is loved, appreciated and practiced by the Persians for many thousands of years. People of Iran live with poetry, breath and dream with poetry in all they do. Almost all of Iranian customs, traditions and way of life include poetry in one way or the other. Be it the presence of a book of Persian poetry, most commonly the Diwan of Hafez or Shahnameh of Ferdowsi or the Masnavi of Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi on the Haft-Sin tables that Iranians set for their New Year, or gathering together on Shab-e-Yalda and reading the Poems of Sa’adi and Hafez, or about wondering what to do, what path they should take in life, and more.
Reading Persian poetry aloud, apart from being an enjoyable pastime is believed by many Iranians as like being in an inspirational classroom, in which you can learn about life and human beings, the natural world and the sacred earth, or indeed, what it means to be human, as most of the Persian poetry is highly didactic. (Iran; the Land of Poetry)*
I remember so clearly and fondly all those decades ago, going to school in Tehran and our weekly classes in persian poetry, where under the supervision of our teacher we all recited poetry and enjoyed storytelling.
I was also blessed that the tradition of poetry reciting was very much honoured in our household too. My late father recited Rumi, Hafez, Sa’adi, Ferdowsi, Khayyam and many others to me and my brothers and sister as we grew up.
Indeed, life works in mysterious ways, when many years later in England, when I needed to rediscover myself and to heal myself spiritually, I finally chose to listen to my father and take heart in what he had recited to me all those decades ago in Tehran.
My mum and dad, grandma Mofid, myself on the left and my younger brother Kambiz. Tehran, Circa 1957
How Persian Mystic Poets Have Changed My Life
I learnt my love of mysticism and appreciation of mystic poetry from my late father, a businessman by trade and a connoisseur of Sufi poetry by tradition. For my father, nothing was more sacred than poetry — specifically the Persian mystical poetry. To him the Persian poets were the true sages, the gems of humanity, the philosophers of love, beauty and wisdom.
I remember he used to tell me all the time that, Kamran ‘These mystical poets can help you lead a better life, I am sure when you get older you will discover that for yourself.’ Reflecting back now, I can only say how right he was.
A few years back, when I came to realise that there was something amiss with much of the things that I had learnt about Western modern economics, its lack of moral and spiritual values, it was Rumi and other Persian sages such as Sa'adi and Hafez who came to my assistance in founding Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative, to bridge the divide between East and West, and to enable me to connect my intellect and my humanity. They enabled me to discover life’s bigger picture, beyond profit maximisation, cost minimisation, the so-called market forces, privatisation, deregulation, and free trade and more.
All said and done, they have allowed me to rediscover myself, my spiritual roots, enabling me to heal myself spiritually. More importantly, they have empowered me to discover, learn and appreciate other mystic traditions and sages. For this discovery of beauty, wisdom and inner-peace I cannot be grateful enough.
Below you can see a sample of the articles and Blogs that I have posted on the GCGI.INFO to celebrate and honour the wonders and beauty of Persian mysticism, poetry, literature, history, arts, culture and civilisation.
Photo: The BBC