Mohammad-Taqi Bahar : biography
Mohammad-Taqí Bahār (محمد تقی بهار in Persian) (November 6, 1884, Mashhad, Iran – April 22, 1951, Tehran, Iran), widely known as Malek o-Sho'arā (ملک الشعراء) and Malek o-Sho'arā Bahār (literally: the king of poets), is a renowned Iranian poet and scholar, who was also a politician, journalist, historian and Professor of Literature. Although he was a 20th-century poet, his poems are fairly traditional and strongly nationalistic in character.
Mohammad-Taqí Bahār was born on November 6, 188416 Āban 1263 AH. His father was Mohammad Kazem Sabouri, and his mother was Sakineh Tehrani (daughter of Haj Abbas Gholi Tehrani). The month Āban was at the time also referred to Aqrab, Scorpion. Scorpio, the eighth zodiacal sign, is usually associated with the period 23 October to 21 November. in the Sarshoor District of Mashhad, the capital city of the Khorasan Province in the north-east of Iran. Bahār began his primary education when he was 3, with his father, Mohammad Kāzem Sabouri, as his tutor. Mohammad Kāzem Sabouri was the Poet Laureate of the shrine in Mashad and had the honorific title of Malek o-Sho'arā, The King of Poets.A relatively detailed biography of Mohammad-Taqí Bahār, by his youngest son, Mehrdad Bahar, is available on the Official Website of Bahār: (in Persian). Bahār's first autobiography is also made available by this Website: (in Persian, 12 pages).
Amongst others, these biographies indicate that Mohammad-Taqi Bahār is through his paternal lineage related to Amir Ghiāss od-Din, the patriarch of the Zarrābi family in Kashan, one of the Generals of the Safavid King Shah Abbas II who accompanied Shah Abbas in the wars leading to the conquest of Kandahar in 1648. The ancestors of Amir Ghiāss od-Din were Kurdish aristocrats and Heads of the Danbali Tribe in the region between the West of Khoy, West Azarbaijan Province, to the mountains of Diārbakr (now called Diyarbakir). This family had been throughout the Safavid Era, from Shah Ismail I onwards, in positions of power, both civilian and military. For instance, Amir Soleiman Danbali, a maternal cousin of Shah Ismail I, fought alongside Shah Ismail in the Battle of Chaldiran in 1514. With some caution, the family traces its roots to the Barmakids and from thence to the Sassanid King, Khosrau I.A detailed chronology of the life of Mohammad-Taqí Bahār has been prepared by Mohammad Golbon and is made available on the Official Website of Bahār: (see the lower part of this page).
In addition to his private schooling, Bahār attended one of the traditional schools, Maktab Khāneh, in Mashhad. To enhance his knowledge of the Persian and Arabic, he further attended the classes of Adib Nai'shābouri, a traditional poet and literary scholar who promoted the style of the poets of Khorasan in the early Islamic era, in the tradition of the so-called bāzgasht-e adabī (literary regress).M.B. Loraine and J. Matíní, Bahār, Mohammad-Taqī Malek Al-Šoʿarāʾ, Encyclopaedia Iranica: . It has been said that Bahār knew by heart a very good portion of the Koran at a very early age. According to Bahār himself, at seven he read Shahnameh and fully grasped the meaning of Ferdowsi's Epic poems.
Bahār composed his first poem at age 8, at which time he also chose the name Bahār, meaning Spring, as his pen name (takhallos in Persian). It is known that Bahār chose this pen name after Bahār Shirvāni, a poet and close friend of his father's, after Shirvāni's death. Shirvāni was a renowned poet during Nasser-al-Din Shah Qajar.
At 14, Bahār was fluent in Arabic, and later he in addition mastered to speak and write in French. At 18, he lost his father and started to work as a Muslim preacher and clergy. It was during this time that he composed a long ode (Qasideh in Persian) and sent it to Mozzafar-al-Din Shah who became so deeply impressed by this ode that he immediately appointed Bahār as his Poet Laureate and by Royal Decree conferred on him, at the age of 19 (in 1903 CE, 1282 AH), the title of Malek o-Sho'arā at the shrine of Imam REZA in Mashad.
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