Famous Iranians > Poets > BABA TAHER ORYAN BY MANOUCHEHR SAADAT NOURY
Famous Iranian Poet
Baba Taher (also spelled as Baba Tahir) is known as one of the most respected and well-regarded early poets in Persian Literature. Most of his life is clouded in mystery. He probably lived in Hamadan, the capital city of the Hamadan province in Iran.
His nickname, Oryan (the Naked), suggests that he was a wandering dervish, or mystic. Legend tells that the poet, an illiterate carpenter, attended lectures at a religious school, where he was not welcome by his fellow-students. The date of his birth and death are unknown. One source indicates that he died in 1019. If this is accurate, then Baba Taher is contemporary to Ferdowsi and Pour Sina (Avicenna) and he is an immediate precursor of Omar Khayyam. Another source reports that he lived between 1000 and 1055, which is most unlikely. Reliable research notes speculate that Baba Taher lived for seventy-five years. His tomb is in the city of Hamadan, in a park, surrounded by flowers and winding paths. The tomb was reconstructed in 1970.
Baba Taher poems are recited to the present day all over Iran accompanied with Seh Tar (three stringed viol or lute). Baba Taher’s poems are of the du-bayti style, a form of Persian quatrains. The poems of Baba Taher are also written in local accents such as Mazanderani. They say Pahlaviat to these kinds of poems and they are very ancient. Baba Taher songs originally read in Pahlavi, Luri, Kurdish and Hamadani dialects, taking their present form in the course of time. According to British scholar L. P. Elwell-Sutton, Baba Taher could be described as the first great poet of Sufi love in Persian Literature.
Here is one of his famous amorous poems:
Du zolfonat bovad tar-e-robabam
Cheh mikhahi as in haal-e-kharabam
Tu keh baa maa sar-e-yari nadari
Chera her nimeh shab aaii bekhabam.
And here is the English version of the above poem as translated by Elizabeth Curtis Brenton:
With two strands of thy hair will I string my rebab,
In my wretched state what canst thou ask of me?
Seeing that thou hast no wish to be my Love,
Why comest thou each midnight, in my sleep?
Inspired by the above verses written by Baba Taher, this author composed a Persian poem entitled as the First Choice, which can be viewed online.
Adamiyat, M. (2001): Divan-e Baba Taher, ed., Tehran, Iran (in Persian).
Brenton, E. C. (2007): Online Article on “The Lament of Baba Tahir”.
Elwell-Sutton, L. P. (1958): “Baba Taher Oryaun”, ed.
Saadat Noury, M. (2005): Online Article on “Poet Baba Taher-e-Oryan”.
Wikipedia Free Encyclopedia (2007): Online Article on “Baba Taher”.