Mohammad Hossein Shahriar

 

Mohammad Hossein Shahriar, was the first Persian to write a significant collection of poetry in the Turkish language (the Azari dialect). Born in 1906 in Tabriz, he received his elementary education, including the Divan of Hafez, under his father's supervision. Shahriarís first formal education was at the Motahari Secondary School in Tabriz. He subsequently studied at the Darolfonun (Tehran's Polytechnic School) in Tehran. Although he studied medicine in college, he dropped out just before getting his diploma and went to Khorasan, where he found a job as a notary public and bank clerk. Initially he published his poems under his given name, Behjat, but later chose the name Shahriar.


This passionate poet began by composing tragic poetry. Many of his bittersweet memories are reflected in his books Hazyan-e Del, Heydar Baba, and Mumiyai. Heydar Baba, composed in Turkish and later translated into Persian, was for a long time on the top ten best-seller list in Tehran. Heydar Baba is the name of a mountain where the poet spent his childhood. He also wrote a book of epic poems, Takht-e Jamshid.

Shahriarís verse takes diverse forms, including lyrics, quatrains, couplets, odes, and elegies. One of his love poems, Hala Chera, was set to music by Rouhollah Khaleghi. The composition for orchestra and solo voice became one of his most well-known works. One of the major reasons for the success of Shahriarís work is the sincerity of his words. Since he uses slang and colloquial language in the context of poetry, his poems are understandable and effective for a broad segment of the public.

 

Shahriar was a talented calligrapher, played the setar very well, and had a keen interest in music. He died in 1988.