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Legendary Iranian poetess Simin Behbahani passes away

Source: Iran Book News Agency

After being in coma state for almost 13 days, the legendary Iranian poetess Simin Behbahani passed away in Pars Hospital in Tehran in morning on August 19, 2014; she was 87.

Simin Behbahani
: 20 June 1927 - 19 August 2014
(artwork by Bozorgmehr Hosseinpur)

Behbahani known as ‘the great Iranian lady of Persian ghazal’ (a form of Persian lyric poetry similar to the Western sonnet) was suffering from respiratory and cardiac problems, however the doctors were hopeful about her condition.

Being nominated twice for the Nobel Prize in literature, Simin Khalili, known as Simin Behbahani, was the daughter of Abbas Khalili who was himself a poet, author and the editor of ‘Eghdam’ Newspaper.

Her uncle, Haj Mirza Hossein Haj Mirza Khalili known as Mirza Hossein Khalili, was one of the leaders of the Iranian Constitution Revolution, and Allameh Molla Ali Razi Khalili Tehrani was his grandfather. His father Abbas Khalili composed poetry in Arabic as well as Persian.

Simin Behbahani -- For the Dream to Ride

Scholars acknowledge that Behbahani is a leading figure in Persian ghazal since she was composing in some specific meters. The poetess began composing ghazals when she was a teenager. Then, the themes of her lyrics were humane feelings and romance; but later, influenced by the modern Iranian poets, Behbahani tended to social themes and problems in her “Ghazale Rastakhiz” series.

Earlier, Deputy of Culture Minister Sayyed Abbas Salehi paid a visit to Behbahani and expressed sympathy with the Behbahani family. Other Iranian known poets such as Soheil Mahmoudi and Afshin Ala were also present there. 

‘A Cup of Sin, Selected Poems' is among Behbahani's brilliant works which has been translated to English by Farzaneh Milani and Kaveh Safa. 


... Payvand News - 08/19/14 ... --

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