The blind poet of Iran, Haj Mohammad Taghi, with the title of Fasiholmolk (The Eloquent of the Land) is one of the celebrated and most famous poets of Iran during the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.
Shourideh was born in 1857 in Shiraz, as indeed the second part of his name “Shirazi”, denotes he was from Shiraz.
Shourideh was only 7 when he contracted small-pox and as a result lost vision in both eyes, as there was no remedy for small-pox in those days.
His father Abbas was a tradesman and wrote poetry as well and believed his ancestry went back to Ahli-e Shirazi, the great poet during the reign of Safavid dynasty (1501-1722) who is famous for his book of poetry entitled “Masnavi-e Sehr e Halal/Pure Magic Masnavi”. Unfortunately Abbas died in 1868 when Shourideh was only 11; his maternal uncle therefore took charge of his guardianship, and 3 years later took Shourideh with him to Mecca and Medina on a pilgrimage and thus Shourideh had the honour of becoming a “haji” at an early age.
Despite his blindness, Shourideh studied fervently at Shiraz schools and so-called madresa’s and was taught by prominent teachers such as Saied Asadollah e Gharra and Abolfaraj who were proud to be teachers of such assiduous and brilliant student.
Shourideh who was immensely intelligent and possessed an unbelievable literary predisposition and memory, began to learn Persian and Arabic literatures, prosody and etymology of words, music, astronomy, mathematics, religious studies, history, etc. etc., and at an early age, began to write poetry. For his poetic name he chose “Shourideh” meaning “frenzied” because he always felt frantic about his loss of vision and as such, his grievance is noted in his poems frequently. With the help of his beloved uncle, his poems with their unique style of classical eloquence, were sent to famous literary men and scholars of his time, which were met with great appreciation and recognition. As a result, in no time at all, his poems were being copied and sent from place to place and person to person, and thus, he was recognized as one of eminent literary masters of his own era. With such popularity, shourideh’s companionship was also sought after by dignitaries, men of letters, poets and the intelligentsia of Shiraz, amongst which Mirza Abdollah Ghavami (Moezolmolk), a well-versed literary man who paid much attention to the young poet. At the beginning, Shourideh met him a few times a week during which they discussed literary subjects, but later this friendship deepened and Shourideh became one of Moezolmolk’s alter egos. In his honour, Shourideh wrote a few odes through which he earned himself a regular governmental salary and thus made a decent life for himself thereafter.
Based on the extant books and documents, in 1882 Shourideh received his first knighthood from “Saheb Deevan” the then Governor of Fars as “Majdoshoara/The Poets’ Honour” when he was only 26. However, prior to this designation, Shourideh’s enemies through jealousy had told Saheb Deevan that Shourideh had lampooned him in one of his poems! Without knowing the validity of such allegation, Saheb Deevan ordered his footman to flog Shourideh. Shourideh fought back with the blade of his satire. Many influential people around the Governor advised him that what he did to Shourideh was wrong and Shourideh’s sardonic language and ridicules may become very harmful to his reputation. Saheb Deevan regretted his action, he therefore tried hard to propitiate Shourideh, as well as granting him the above-mentioned title. However, Shourideh has made many references to him in his poetry that are not necessarily complimentary either. In one of his most famous odes entitled “Sal-e-Mowtol-Rejal/The year of the Dead Dignitaries” that Shourideh wrote in 1883, he expresses that: “….the likes of Saheb Deevan will eventually die, but Shourideh’s poetry will remain forever”!
It was in 1893 when Shourideh in the company of Hossein Gholi Khan Nezamos-saltaneh Mafi went to Tehran, and had the honour of being received by Mirza Ali Asghar Khan Atabak e A’zam, The Grand vizier of Nasered-din Shah. In his laudation, Shourideh wrote a few odes that were much appreciated by him. It did not take long before Nasered-din Shah who was a great patron of poets and men of letters, heard of Shourideh’s fame, and showed interest in meeting him. Subsequently, Shourideh was invited to the Palace and was taken there in the Royal Carriage. In that meeting the Shah asks Shourideh a few questions regarding his blindness and then says: “I have heard a few of your poems before, but wanted to meet with you personally and hear the poems from your own lips. What have you written recently and what have you written for me?” Shourideh says: “I have written an ode about my journey from Shiraz to Tehran that if your Majesty wishes I will read that”. Nasered-din Shah gives him the go ahead and Shourideh recites the poem. After that Shah says: ” As you uttered, you had already written this poem, write a two liner in the same metre and rhyme about meeting us today, in order for us to see whether you are just as good in extemporaneous poetry”. Without the slightest hesitation, Shourideh recites the following:
Went to the Court of the Shah and read him a eulogy
Heard his praise, but did not see him
Like *Mostafa’s ascension to the empyrean
God’s words he heard, but did not see Him!
(* Another name for Prophet Mohammad)
Nasered-din Shah says: ” I thought after Hakeem GhaAni, there will be no greater poet with such gift of eloquence, now I have found a greater one!”. He immediately gives Shourideh the title of ” Fasiholmolk/The Eloquent of the Land” and orders a writ to be issued in that regard. In the following meeting with Shourideh, the king calls the Court’s Photographer and orders him to take Shourideh’s photograph. While the photographer was doing his job, Shourideh in turn, wrote a humorous Ghat’ah, the last line of which is as follows:
With this photograph one could say
The shah’s desire was
To keep Shourideh alive till eternity
Shourideh was a phenomenal orator, quick at repartee, quite humorous and apart from his mastery in all genres of Persian Poetry, he was the first classical poet of Iran to foster Shirazi folkloric terms & idioms in his verse. Nasered-din Shah enjoyed Shourideh’s company and as a result, Shourideh was a frequent visitor to the Shah’s Court. During the 3 years he was in Tehran, he received many gifts from the king, amongst which were the “village of Bourenjan” at the foot of the Sorkhi Mountain, and “Dordaneh” near the town of Kazeroon in Fars region, in the form of a fief. Later, he also gave him the custodianship of the Mausoleum of Sa’di (the distinguished Iranian poet) in Shiraz. All this improved Shourideh’s monetary and social status to the degree that when he returned to Shiraz, his home became a centre for the comings and goings of the Fars noblemen, dignitaries and the literary elite.
In 1895, two years after his move to Tehran, Shourideh began to miss Shiraz and felt rather homesick! He had also decided to go there and get married. He therefore wrote a letter to the king, explaining about his decision and the way he was feeling, as well as including a humourous poem regarding his thoughts on getting married. The king calls Shourideh and tells him that his poem had given him many moments of laughter and joy, however he would like him to carry on staying in the capital, because his 50th anniversary of accession to the throne was imminent and Tehran was going to be full of mirth and merriment and the celebrations worth seeing and not abandoning! He then says: start writing a poem for the occasion, enjoy the celebrations and then leave. Shourideh comes away and starts working on the poem in the form of a ” Hexameter-مسدّس “, and by the time he finishes the tenth stanza, he hears the tragic news of Nasered-din Shah’s assassination! Apparently when the Shah had gone on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Hazrat e Abdol Azeem outside of Tehran, a man by the name of Mirza Reza Kermani (a devotee of Saied Jamaled-din e Asadabadi who was an adversary of the Shah), in a woman’s clothing shot him. With this news, Shourideh decides to transfigure the remainder of his celebratory poem into a sorrowful monody. This is a remarkable historic poem that not only shows the high degree of a nation’s jubilation on an exalted occasion, it also brilliantly depicts the deep sorrow and disappointment of a people. Shourideh also wrote a quatrain in this regard that says:
O bewildered people of the martyred king
Weep for your king weltered in blood
Have you heard of a king in two states in one day
Celebratory in one half and martyred in the other?
After the King’s passing, the Grand Vizier, Atabak A’zam asked Shourideh to write a chronogram embracing both the assassination of Nasered-din Shah and the installation of his son Prince Mozaffared-din to the throne. This was a daunting task, for the poets who have attempted writing chronograms know how difficult it is to work out one date let alone calculating 2 different happenings in one chronogram! As far as we know, only once before in the history of Iranian poetry, this type of chronogram was attempted and that was by Malekosh-shoara Saba (1765-1822), on the occasion of the killing of Agha Mohammad Khan e Qajar (first king of the Qajar Dynasty) and accession of his son Fath-Ali Shah to the throne, which failed and did not work out. Shourideh on the other hand welcomed this challenge and created a masterpiece that was quite unprecedented. It is a feat in the form of an ode in which the murder of one king and accession to the throne of another is portrayed in the most eloquent way, and at the end, the chronogram that is perfectly and ingeniously worked out to 1313 A.H. (1896 A.D.) exactly the year Nasered-din Shah died and his son became king.
As it was mentioned before, based upon Nasered-din Shah’s wishes, Shourideh stayed in Tehran and did not return to Shiraz, until Prince Mozaffared-din ascended the throne.
One day, Shourideh goes to see the new king, expressing his deep appreciation of Nasered-din Shah’s generosity and continued acts of kindness towards him and then asks permission to return to Shiraz. Mozaffared-din Shah who had received Shourideh with much fervor and respect, says: ” we will only allow you to leave if you agree to accompany Nazemod-dowleh Diba, who has just been appointed the Governor of Fars ( Fars was and still is a county in southern part of Iran, the capital city of which is Shiraz); as he has neither insight nor familiarity with the affairs of the Fars region, we would like you to assist and guide him the best you can”. This was the way Shourideh went back to his beloved Shiraz at the beginning of 1314 A.H.(1897 A.D.). There, he was received by his family, friends and acquaintances with jubilation and honour, for Shourideh had returned home as the Governor’s Council, the eminent poet of Iran with the title of Fasiholmolk, and a prosperous land owner who was going to have a decent, relatively peaceful and comfortable life thereafter.
However, around the same time there were rumours in the city that an ice-cream man who was almost blind, had been taken to the shrine of Hazrate Shahe Cheragh for sanctification and cure. After the prayers, to the amazement of all present, the man miraculously regained his sight. People rejoiced and tore the ice-cream man’s shirt to pieces so that they could place a sanctified piece of it in their caftan for salvation. They then held numerous celebrations and illuminated Shahe Cheragh’s Shrine and other sacred places of the city in order to give thanks.
When Shourideh heard the news, he naturally became very happy for the man, but at the same time wished if he too could have regained his sight in such a miraculous way! With a heavy heart he writes a moving yet humourous poem in which he complains to Shahe Cheragh that an ordinary man who can only make ice-cream and nothing else should be cured, but a poet and a literary man such as himself who has worked so hard to reach a high echelon in literature and benefited others with his works and his good deeds, should remain blind. May be his fault is that he cannot make ice-cream!!
Shourideh’s adversaries and poetasters who envied his fame, were always ready to denounce him, turning people’s opinion against him and thus taint his reputation. Naturally when they read Shourideh’s poem regarding the ice-cream man, they thought it was a good pretext for damaging Shourideh’s high esteem once and for all. They therefore secretly added a few irreverent lines to Shouride’s poem, mocking the miracle and circulated copies of it amongst the public! Consequently, public opinion did turn against Shourideh, and credulous people who knew nothing about the truth believed the trouble-makers to the degree that a few ruffians attempted on his life. Superficial Mullahs also called his poem reprehensible and one of them from the town of Lar even accused him of heresy!
Shourideh’s friends and a few eminent spiritual leaders who knew he was innocent and believed in his deep faith and virtuous nature, became rather concerned, and in order to prevent Shourideh from any harm, decided to hold a public meeting in front of the shrine of Shahe Cheragh. In the Meantime, they urged Shourideh to give a speech and write a poem in denial of such preposterous calumnies. Shourideh welcomed this idea and on the day despite various threats on his life, with God’s help, and the assistance of governmental security guards made his way through the large crowds that had gathered in front of the Shrine! He then went behind the pulpit and gave a soul-searching speech regarding his innocence and explained that the existing antagonism towards him was the work of a bunch of seditious lunatics who had nothing better to do but to incite disharmony and hatred! He then carried on to say ” … I am a blind man and I can not write, my poetry is inscribed by my calligrapher, his handwriting is totally different from the writing you have in your hands. This alone should be clear enough evidence of the deception and trickery of the perpetrators…!”. He then recited the ode he had written for the occasion, which clearly denoted the sanctity of his faith and the sincerity of his beliefs. After Shourideh’s speech and his fervent poetry, the crowds came to understand that they had been conned by a bunch of self-serving dishonest people who had no other purpose but to frame Shourideh. They then expressed their regrets, held him in high esteem and got him home with reverence and respect.
In 1900, Shourideh bought a house in a prime area of Shiraz called Sare Bagh(The Garden Head). This area apparently got its name from a most beautiful garden belonging to a ruler of Fars by the name of Sa’debne Zangi (1194-1259?). The house was old and in a state of wreck & ruin, so Shourideh decided to bring it down and build anew. A year later the new house was ready and became a popular venue for his friends, poets, writers and dignitaries. Western thinkers, literary men and orientalists such as Edward Granville Brown(British orientalist), Monsieur Pernau(?) editor-in- chief of the French Pernau Magazine and the author of the book entitled “Under the Sky of Iran”, Russian Professor Nicholas Marr and Times of London editor-in-chief are a few notables who frequented with Shourideh and benefited from his wisdom. Shourideh’s beautiful house that was designed by himself is at present one of Qajar period historic attractions in Shiraz that in 1976 was registered in the International list of historical Buildings of the world. This attractive 2 story house is famous for its unparalleled plaster mouldings, mosaic works, sash windows and doors, exotic wooden ceilings and fretworks. Shourideh resided in this house with his family up to the end of his life.
In 1904 there was an outbreak of cholera in Shiraz and other parts of Iran, and as a result thousands of people died. At the time, Shourideh in the company of Nasrod-dowleh Ghavami had gone to the country for a holiday to a little place called Esmail Abad in the Fars region, and thus escaped real death by a stroke of luck! On his return to Shiraz, he wrote a historic chronogram that depicts the plight and struggles of the people of Shiraz with this killer disease.
As it was pointed out before, Shourideh had decided to get married after his return to Shiraz from Tehran in the year of 1897; but his marriage did not happen until 1904, nearly 8 years later. Shourideh took his escape from cholera as a good omen and with the encouragement of Malek Mansoor Mirza, the son of Mozaffared-din Shah, who at the time was the Governor of Fars, married one of the daughters of Prince Moheb Ali Mirza (Fat h Ali Shah’s Grandson) named Esmatol molook, in the same year. The progeny of this marriage were 6 children by the names of: Hosein (Sheefteh), Hasan(Ehsan), Abbas (who died in childhood), a daughter called Aghdasol molook (who died at the age of 18 after graduation from school and marriage), Heidar Ali and Nosratollah. The Fasihi brethren all possessed literary talent and wrote poetry, specially the two older brothers Hosein and Hasan who are both famous contemporary poets. Shourideh’s fifth child, Heidar Ali, a Telecommunication Engineer, was one of the highranking officials at the Ministry of Telecommunications of Iran where he was nicknamed ” Shazdeh”(prince) due to his outstanding personal qualities and work ethics. Nosratollah, the sixth and the youngest son of Shourideh, was a true master of Persian literature and proficient in French language, taught Persian literature at High Schools in Tehran up to his relatively short life that ended in 1974. Nosratollah was also a permanent member of the famous Iranian Literary Society to which many renowned poets and literary figures of his time were affiliated.
Throughout his life Shourideh enjoyed great health. He very seldom fell ill or was confined to bed. It was towards the end of his life that death and dying permanently engaged his mind. He therefore chose his resting place in Sa’dieh close to the mausoleum of Sa’di(the eminent poet of Iran and his most favourite poet), purchased a slab of marble stone, and even wrote a poem to be inscribed on it. This way he thought there will be no complications after his death and he can be buried right away! Interestingly, one day he invited a number of his friends to Sa’dieh, he lay in his grave and said to them: ” this is my eternal resting place, I have no fear of death, I just wanted you to know!”. He then read them this quatrain:
I saw a track of ants in my grave
That I built for myself before passing
I questioned the ants what they were looking for
They said: you, and don’t starve us any longer
Two months after this event, Shourideh began to feel unwell, he complained of total fatigue and a racing heart. His doctors tried very hard to help him get better, but alas, his health continued to deteriorate and became totally bedridden. A few days later, the news went around that Shourideh, that illustrious moon in the sky of Persian literature had dimmed forever. Shourideh passed away on the night of Thursday October 14th,1926. Doctors associated his death with Stomach cancer!
The news of Shourideh’s passing shocked and saddened the world of literature in Iran and around the world. On the day of his funeral, poets, writers, scholars, religious leaders, politicians and people from all other walks of life took part and shed tears. He was indeed loved, respected and revered by all. In his honour, many writers and poets wrote mournful articles, chronograms and monodies with pure sentiments denoting his literary stature, wealth of knowledge, incredible cleverness and musical predisposition.
The Iranian Literary Society in a statement wrote: ” ….in this year of 1926, four pillars of the literary establishment(of Iran) have fallen…..At the beginning of the year, Jalalolmolk Iraj(Iraj Mirza), 40 days later, the fountain head of learning and literature of Khorasan, Adeeb-e-Nishabouri, and close to the same time Malekolkalam Majidi Kordestani, and 20 days ago, the only remainder of all the classical masters and the bright light of the contemporary Literature of Fars, Shourideh Shirazi…….”.
Vahid Dastgerdy in an article in his famous literary magazine, Armaghan, wrote: “…… the biggest loss of the world of poetry and literature in 1926 was the passing of the great poet and the only remaining classical master of our time, Fasiholmolk, in Shiraz….”. And Ali Asghar Khan Hekmat Shirazi penned: “….. that great man of literature has the right of a teacher upon me … and it’s been my distinct honour to have been his student…”.
In addition to what has been said so far, Shourideh was a sweet tonged, high-minded, conversable, pious and patriotic man who showed great humility towards his subordinates. His home was the hearth of love and knowledge where his family and friends always benefited from his erudition and his pearls of wisdom.
Apart from mastery in writing poetry and prose, Shourideh was an able musician who not only possessed a warm and melodic singing voice, he could also play several musical instruments such as the Tar and the Piano. Despite his blindness, he also had dexterity in doing crafts such as cross stitch, weaving and making fine woollen or silk braided buttons for clothes; and by doing so, he truly amazed the onlookers.
Although Shourideh’s ability in writing prose was no less masterful than in poetry, nevertheless most of his remaining works are in verse. Due to his blindness it is most regrettable that Shourideh could not write himself. He constantly had to rely on his scribes who were not always around to put pen to paper and give reality to his brilliant thoughts. Sometimes he had to keep in his memory tens of lines of poetry before someone wrote them down for him. Thank Heavens for his incredible retentive memory to be able to recollect his pearls of wisdom so that they could be written down for posterity.
Regretably, during his lifetime, his library was burgled and a great number of his rare and valuable books, mostly calligraphic were stolen, including a calligraphic book of his own complete works of poetry, that according to Shourideh himself consisted of 20,000 lines of verse, written and gifted to him by a group of master calligraphers of Shiraz. Namehe Rowshan Delan(The Book of the Enlightened) written in prose, about the lives of blind poets such as: Bash-shar, Abol Ala’e Ma-arri, Rudaki etc. was another book of Shourideh’s that was destroyed during one of his travels. Kashfol Mavad is another one of Shourideh’s books which is a collection of elegies and also chronograms on weddings, buildings, deaths etc., a big portion of which is at present included in the chronograms section of The Complete Works of Poetry by Shourideh Shirazi (Fasiholmolk) which was published in 2009 by The Institute of Islamic Studies in Iran. This book is in 2 volumes and is the fruit of 3 generations of the Fasihi family endeavors. My dear father, Hasan Fasihi Shirazi (Ehsan) who was the second son of Shourideh, also a great poet and a calligrapher himself, dedicated 50 years of his busy life on putting together his father’s scattered poems, and writing them in beautiful Nasta’leegh style calligraphy. Unfortunately, he could not print the book himself while he was alive. So,I Khosrow Fasihi, the grandson of Shourideh, was left with the task of publishing this most valuable literary work of the Qajar period. In this book, apart from an introduction, the annotations are also in my calligraphy in the same Nasta’leegh style as my father’s, at the end of vol.1. This is the most complete book of Shourideh’s Poetry available and has been commended by the public and the literary elite alike.
It is worthy of mention that during his life, my father published 2 books in connection with Shourideh: Ghazaliiat e Shourideh Shirazi, Fasiholmolk (Shourideh’s Love Poems) in 1947, and Ayeneh ye Hagh nama(The Reflection of God) in 1972. Both of these books are penned in beautiful calligraphy by my late father.
Shourideh was also an outstanding literary critic and the corrector of Persian literary texts and poetic divans of yester poets of Iran. The Five Treasures of Nizami-خمسه ی نظامی , The Divan of Manuchehri Damghani, The Divan of Farrokhi Sistani, Farhang e Jahangiri and The Complete works of Sa’di of Shiraz are a few of such endeavours. Among these books, perhaps the correction of The Complete works of Sa’di (Shourideh’s most favourite poet) is one of his finest corrections which was written in calligraphy by Mirza Mahmood Adeeb Mostafavi (Shourideh’s own penman) and was for the first time printed in Mozaffari Printing House in Dehli in 1909. In the year of 2016, this incomparable book was published again in the most beautiful format by The Institute of Islamic Studies of Iran affiliated to the Universities of Tehran/Iran and McGill/ Canada.
Finally, Dr. Mansoor Rastegar Fasa’ee, distinguished professor emeritus of Persian Literature at Shiraz University, in an article in Persian regarding Shourideh’s Poetry writes thus:
” Among the Persian poets of the Qajar years, Shourideh’s poetry stands out as remarkable and authentic:
After Roodaki, he is the most famous blind poet of Iran who has alluded to his sightlessness in his works with honour.
The importance of Shourideh’s poetry is in the portrayal of the social and cultural aspects of life during his time; and this is the very point that has won the attention of his contemporaries. His most famous poem in this regard is The Blacks’ Party in which not only he shows the social and cultural background of the blacks at Moshirolmolk’s house in Shiraz, he also depicts their customs, behavior and costumes as well as their dialect and dialogue, in the most beautiful way.
Shourideh, was one of the pioneers of minimalism during the Qajar period. He has written charming humorous and folkloric poetry sometimes in Shirazi dialect and occasionally in Lori. Forsatod-dowleh in Poets of Darol-elm writes: ” …. he is capable of writing all types of poetry, specially humourous…”.
Shourideh is an all-round poet who has experimented writing poetry in many different poetic forms and styles and has succeeded; that is why he is considered as one of the greatest masters of verse of the Qajar era. Ali Asghar Hekmat writes: …in respect of poetic forms, his poetry comprises Ghasidehs, Ghazals, Ghatehs, Rubaiyats, Mosammatats and Masnaviats… and in respect of semantics his verse contains praise, reproach, virtues, love, humour, ridicule, family, friends etc. ….”. In serious poetry, his poems are firm, dignified, brilliant and smooth; and in satirical verse, he is incisive, funny and at times vulgar.
Shourideh has portrayed unbelievable imageries in his poetry, and has amazed all the people with sight, on the accuracy and insightful description of the things or events that they themselves had witnessed with him…”.
Ghasideh(Ode) is Shourideh’s most important form of verse and most of his odes are in eulogy or theological virtues, written in the style of Khorasan poets. His spiritual odes are mainly in the honour and glory of God, the epithet of the messenger of God, Mohammad, the virtuous Ali, Imam Reza and the twelfth Imam(The Hidden Imam); and Imam’s off springs such as: Hazrat Ma’soumeh, Hazrat Shah Cheragh, Saied Alaod-din Hosein, and chronograms on the building of some of their Shrines. His eulogies are in praise of kings like Nasered-din Shah, Mozaffared-din Shah, Grand vizir of the Qajars, Governors of Fars and Boushehr, and the national, international and local dignitaries of his time.
Ghazals(Love Poems): ….Shourideh’s Love Poems are in the style of The Literary Return Period and in the way of Hafiz and Sa’di and Iraqi poets. These love poems truly enjoy a very soft and delicate language and are filled with profound feelings and emotions.
Ghat’ahs: Shourideh has written many poems in this style about different people of his time, in which they are addressed with friendliness, fraternity and finesse. These poems throughout convey Shourideh’s magnanimity towards others and the eloquence of the language in which they are written.
In Shourideh’s time, writing in Farsi-e-Sareh(pure Farsi) became popular, and like many other poets of that period, Shourideh became quite interested in it. Hosein Fasihi(sheefteh) writes in this regard: “… Shourideh endeavoured meticulously to separate Farsi words from Arabic, and wrote a letter to Moez-zolmolk with such words that pleased him greatly. He also wrote a few eulogies for him in the same manner…. Naturally as it was custom in those days, the propagation of writing in pure Farsi too can be attributed to the powers that be! “.
Shourideh set up a literary society and a library in Shiraz to be used by scholars, and it continued its existence until the dawn of Constitution in Iran. These literary gatherings took place in Shourideh’s residence named by the people ” Darol-Adab”(The Home of Literature). Up to the end of his life, Shourideh arranged literary meetings and poetry readings for the society, and his abode had become a Mecca for the men of letters, poets and literary scholars; nurturing a whole new generation of outstanding poets at its midst. Every week several meetings were held, in which only literary topics such as deciphering of difficult words, and current literary mistakes etc. were discussed. This society gained much fame and prestige to the extent that the literary people from all over the country contacted them to resolve their literary questions and difficulties. However, with the start of the Constitutional Movement, this society became political and gradually lost its influence, but the library continued to be a centre for gatherings of literary men with whom Shourideh, studied, analyzed and corrected a number of Divans of various poets of the past.
Khosrow Fasihi, Victoria, Canada.