Hushang Ebtehaj

Hushang Ebtehaj

Photo by Moe Zoyari

Amir Hushang Ebtehaj

امیرهوشنگ ابتهاج
(1928-02-25) February 25, 1928
Rasht, Iran

Language Persian
Nationality Iranian
Citizenship Iran
Genre Poet


Hushang Ebtehaj (Persian: هوشنگ ابتهاج, with the pen name of H. E. Sayeh (Persian: ه. ا. سایه, lit. Shade) is an eminent Iranian poet of the 20th century, whose life and work spans many of Iran's political, cultural and literary upheavals.


Ebtehaj was born February 25, 1928 in Rasht, Iran, and had his primary schooling there before moving to Tehran. His first book of poetry, with an introduction by eminent poet Mehdi Hamidi Shirazi, was published when he was 19 years old. During Iran's open period following World War II, Sayeh got involved in various literary circles and contributed to various literary magazines such as Sokhan, Kavian, Sadaf, Maslehat, and others. Unlike many other literary figures of the time who got deeply involved in politics and left-leaning activities, Sayeh stayed true to his social and political consciousness but refrained from deeper involvement. He was employed at the National Cement Company for 22 years while continuing his literary activities. Later he was invited by the national Iranian Radio to produce the traditional music program "Golhaye Taze" and "Golchin Hafte."

After the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the ensuing suppression, Sayeh spent a year in prison for his writings. After his release, he began work on "Hafez, by Sayeh," a verse-for-verse study of the various publications of Hafez. In 1987, he moved to Cologne, Germany, with his family and lives there.


Taken from Daftar-e Honar magazine article by Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, 1996.

Sayeh published his first collection of poetry while he was still a high school student in the northern province of Gilan, Iran. His total output, however, remains small because of his preoccupation with high craftsmanship and exact phraseology. In the political climate of the 1940s, Sayeh was an ardent advocate of the poetry of social commitment. His own early poetry reveals his concern with purposive literature.

Sayeh has also written a collection of lyrical poems (ghazal) in the classical style. Here, he reveals an easy mastery of traditional forms—the lyrical ode, in particular—which he uses to celebrate both the sacred and the secular moments of life. Sayeh's poetry, at times highly emotional, is always remarkable for its convincing directness and unconcealed sentiment.



(selected by M.R. Shafie-Kadkani)


Please note: English names of books are not official, but the Wikipedia author's translation. See talk page.

Poems in Translation

Translations by Mojdeh Marashi and Chad Sweeney:

See also


    External links

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