Shahryar, one of Tabriz’s greatest contemporary poets, was born at a time when the constitution movement was stirring the roots of the traditional social system. As an infant Shahryar was sent to live in the small village of Khoshknub far from Tabriz. There he spent his childhood living a rustic life surrounded by beautiful nature. This lifestyle had a profound impact on the future poet. It was a time when traditional rustic life was giving way to urbanization and the migration of villagers to the city had already began. Shahryar felt this was a catastrophe and in 1951 he expressed his deep feelings of regret in a poem he called “Haydar Bahaya Salam”. The poem’s 76 stanzas manifest his sorrow of the loss of simplicity, innocence and manhood. The poem starts abruptly:
When the lightenings flash
Flood from the valleys roar and splash
To those waters the girl’s looks clash
Give my greetings to your glorious tribe
May you on their tongues my name scribe
Apostrophizing the mounting Haydar Baba, Shahryar personifies the mountain and tells her whatever he remembers of the simple folk and of the once prosperous village. Haydar Baba has been translated from Turkish language to Persian language twelve times, as well as German and English.
Shahryar wrote a great bulk of Persian sonnets. He followed Hafiz in both form and imagery patterns. The aptness of his response to phenomena and the sensual expression of feelings made Shahryar an outstanding contemporary Iranian poet.
Shahryar died in 1988 and was buried at the Poet’s Corner in Tabriz. Shahryar’s house is now a literary museum located behind Town Hall at the end of the valley.