گفته بودم(دکتر یاحقی) که به کنفرانسی رفته بودم به لهستان که گزارش آن را به فارسی برایتان نوشتم. مطلب كوتاهی هم در مورد "مفهوم شهر در شعر شفیعی کدکنی" در آن کنفرانس خواندم اگر حالش را دارید و از زبان اجانب بدتان نمی آید شما هم در ادامه بخوانید.
The Concept of City in Shafiee Kadkani's Poetry
M. J. Yahaghi
Professor of Persian Language and Literature
Ferdowsi University of Mashhad
Cities can determine the man’s cultural fate. They are also the source of intellectual excitement and challenges. Modern cities normally evolve through three stages of development, namely: commercial, industrial, and “world stage” city (Lehan, 1998, 3). The rise of the city is also inseparable from various kinds of literary movements, such as the developing of narrative works and particularly novels. In my opinion we have two different concepts of cities in modern Persian poetry: 1) real cities and, 2) mythological cities or utopia. In this paper we will deal with the latter sense, which can not be distinguished originally from the village. In such cities every thing is immortal and delightful in an ideal context. A great number of poets who immigrate from villages to cities were attracted by the urban culture and forgot their own rural routs. However, this is not the case about Shafiee Kadkani.
Mohammad Reza Shafiee Kadkani, a modern Persian poet and university scholar, is originally from Kadkan, a village of ancient Nieshabour. He was born in October 1939. He moved to Mashhad, where he finished his high school and immediately got his BA in Persian Literature (Mashhad University) and achieved a high level of Arabic knowledge from Adib Nishabouri (Adib 2nd). Then he immigrated to Tehran (1965) to complete his academic studies. After he passed successfully his PhD dissertation under the supervision of late Dr Parviz Khanlari, he was invited to teach Persian Literature in Tehran University. Shafiee never got fully acquainted with the city-life, neither in Mashhad nor in Tehran. Instead, he always remembered his birthplace (Kadkan) not only in his poems, but also in his academic researches. He regularly travels to Kadkan, normally every summer, to enjoy being with his village-mates for a few days, talking with his childhood classmates with local dialect. His love of this dialect, is revealed in his academic researches as well, for instance when he explains some Persian words in classical texts of Khorasan, such as Asrar–al Towhid, Sanee's Ghazals and particularly Attar's works, he frequently refers to the particular meaning of the words in Kadkan dialect. His love of rural life in general and Kadkan in particular is beyond words. Partly, this love is reflected in his use of motives and symbols which allude to the rural life. Some instances of such symbols are: orchard, anemone, hen, clamor of cock, streams, spring, early morning, and the names of birds and some local plants etc.
While he was living in Mashhad (1955-65), he took part in local literary meetings, reciting his poems. In the beginning of his career, he followed classical style of Persian poetry, but after a while he shifted to Nimaee style. In his first collection, Shabkhani (Mashahd, 1344/1965) which is composed normally in classical style, there is a poem, entitled: Zadgah-e man (My Birthplace) (Shafiee, 1374, pp. 96-9) composed in Kadkan, in spring 1961. The poem was dedicated to his cousin (Mohammad Abdollahian), who was his most sincere classmate and closest local friend up to now. In this poem he devoted his best love to Kadkan. In the last line he says:
"اي روستاي خفته درين پهن دشت سبز/اي جلوة طراوت و شادابي و شكوه / هان اي بهشت خاطر، اي زادگاه من"
[O, Thou slept village, on this vast green plain, O, The Paradise of remembrance, Oh my birthplace: Be prosperous and immortal with splendor and happiness.]
In contrary, in the same collection probably addressing Mashhad, he says:
"اين شهر سرد يخ زده در بستر سكوت/ جاي تو اي مسافر آزرده پاي نيست"
[O injured leg passenger, this cool and frozen city in the bed of silence, is not your residence (Ibid, p 94).]
There is another poem, in this collection (P. 134-37) entitled: Ashiyan-e-Matrook (Abandoned Nest) composed in Kadkan, in August 1964. It is full of poet's childhood remembrances and some other poems which were composed in Kadkan in the same decade (cf. pp. 130, 133…).
In Qajar dynasty era, Kadkan officially joined to Torbat Heydariyyeh, (a normal modern town, which was arisen on the ruins of ancient Zaveh) but in the ancient times it belonged to Nishabour district. Shafiee prefers to consider his birth place in the historical cite of Nishabour, because in his mind the image of the ancient and historical Nishabour is always associated with an ideal city. Indeed, Nishabour was a real Islamic metropolitan and was considered as one of the four important urban centers ( ربع =RAB') in Khorasan during the pre-Mongol era. I think it is due to Shafeei's knowledge of Nishabour and its high place in the Islamic civilization that he has devoted a great portion of his poetry and researches to this city. He has spent a long time editing Nishabour's texts such as Tarikh-e-Nishabour (Nishabour History) by Al-Hakem and 'Attar of Nishabour's works and other classical texts. In his introduction to Tarikh-e Nishabour (p. 13) we read: “Nishabour, in my opinion, is the miniature of Great Persia, a city wrapped in the cloud of myths and also in the light of history.” Since his images of Nishabour almost come back to its pre-Mongol glories, in the main part of his career he has been engaged in editing Farid al-Din 'Attar's works. In the preface of Dar Kouch-e-Bagh-ha-ye-Nishabour (Tehran, 1350/1971), referring to his quatrain: “Gar Mard-e-Rahi…,” he dubs 'Attar, “'Attar-e-Kadkani–ye-Nishabouri” due to his attachment to this village. In his introduction to Manteq-al-Tayr (the Conference of the Birds) he argues about 'Attar's father and his birthplace and his tomb which is located in Kadkan (p.32). His infatuation with Kadkan, Nishabour and consequently Khorasan has led to some criticism of his view points, and sometimes he has been accused of fanaticism toward Khorasan.
More than three decades ago, he wrote an article on the concept of homeland in traditional Islamic point of views (Alefba 2, p.1-26). In this research he explicates different concepts of “homeland” among the common people, Sufis and Moslems. I think his own belief, more or less, is closer to common people and traditional views.
Shafiee has a bad sentiment toward nightmarish Mongol invasion which destroyed Nishabour and eliminated it from the map. His Nishabour was buried in Mongol invasion, thus he would not be able to hide his hatred toward Mongols (Tatars), both in his poetry and his academic researches (see: Shafiee 1376, pp.278, 286, 288 and 293). In addition, based on historical evidences 'Attar, his favorite poet, was killed in Mongol invasion as well.
Many years before his attraction to Attar of Neishabour as his fellow-villager, he called one of his early collections Dar Kouch-e-bagh-ha-ye-Nishabour, (Tehran, Raz Press, 1350/1971) which indeed introduced him as a notable modern Persian poet during 70’s decade. In this work, he had also some particular sublime poems on Nishabour. In my opinion, Kadkani is a modern poet who had a nostalgic sense of his birth rural life as opposed to living in Tehran. He did not ignore his love of village, particularly Kadkan, and the reader always hears the sound of village and countryside from his poems. His poetic images are full of signs and metaphors which belong to the countryside as an ideal place. Shafiee sometime calles Nishabour: “شهر خاموش من” (My Silent City) (Shafiee, 1377, 296), which clearly refers to this city after Mongol invasion. When he became disappointed from being in his ideal city he wishes:
"ای کاش, آدمی وطنش را / - مثل بنفشه ها – (در جعبه خاک)/ یک روز می توانست, همراه خویش ببرد هر کجا که خواست" [O that man would be able to carry his homeland with himself – like violet – (in a case of dust) everywhere he wants.]
This local color is visible in a few modern Persian poets, such as Nima, Akhavan, Sohrab Sepehri and Manuchehr Atashi. The case of Akhavan is quite different, but I think Shafiee's expression of the concept of city and his tendency toward countryside, in spite of his living in Tehran, is much more like Nima and his attachment to his birth place, Yoush. He is truly comparable with Nima Youshij from this point of view (cf: Karimi Hakkak, 2004, 15). He agreed with me when we (Shafeei and I) discussed about this similarity some time ago.
Conclusion: Shafiee is a modern Persian poet who favors the rural life against the urban life. His ideal city is the ancient and mythical Nishabour with its pre-Mongol glory. He shows a kind of nostalgic feeling on historical Nishabour, in his poetry, that sometimes has been expressed in talking about Kadkan. He can never get used to a modern city such as Tehran. Moreover, he normally dislikes using the modern facilities such as e-mail, computer and electronic software. His private life is much more like a traditional life, but I think his views and his poetical ideas are quite new and modern.
Abu 'Abdellah Hakem Nishabouri, Tarikh-e Nishabour, tarjome ye Mohammad ben Hosien ben Khalife Nishabouri, tashih va ta'liq Dr Mohammad Reza Shafiee Kadkani, Tehran, Agah, 1375.
Attar, Farid al-Din, Manteq al-Tayr, ed. Mohaammd Reza Shafiee Kadkani, Tehran, Sokhan, 1384/2005.
Hakkak, Karimi (ed.), Essays on Nima Youshij, Animating Modernism in Persian Poetry, Brill, Lieden, Boston: 2004.
Shafiee Kadkani, Dr Mohammad Reza, Ayne ee Baray sada ha, Tehran, Sokhan, 1376.
--------: Dar kouche Baqha-ye nishabour, Tehran, Raz, 1350/1971.
Lehan, Richard, The City in Literature, an Intellectual and Cultural History, University of California Press, 1998.
Nuri- Ala', Esma'il, Teori ye Sce'r, az Mog e nNo ta Sce'r e Escq, Entesharat-e-Qazal, London, 1994
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