Iran marks date of Hussein Shahriyar's death as National Poetry Day
Iran is marking Sept.18 - the date of the death of the great poet Mohammed Hussein Shahriar - as National Poetry Day with many events to be held Saturday across Iran to honor the poet's memory, MEHR news agency reported.
Seyyed Mohammad Hossein Behjat-Tabrizi (1906-1988), chiefly known by his pen name as Shahriar, was a legendary Azerbaijani and Iranian poet of Azeri origin, who wrote in Azerbaijani and Persian. Born in Tabriz, Shahriar came to Tehran in 1921 and continued his studies in the Dar-ol-Fonoun high school and started studying medicine after graduation from Dar-ol-Fonoun in 1924.
Shahriar was the first Iranian to write significant poetry in Azerbaijani Turkic. He published his first book of poems in 1929, with prefaces by Mohammad Taghi Bahar, Saeed Nafisi, and Pezhman Bakhtiari. His poems are mainly influenced by Hafez and his most famous poem, the Azerbaijani work Heydar Babaya Salam published in 1954, won the immense affection of both the Turkic and Iranian speakers. It has been translated into more than 30 languages all over the world, especially in Turkic speaking countries.
National Poetry Day was approved by the Iranian parliament in 2002.