Iraj Mirza

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Prince Iraj Mirza (1874 - 1926) (titled Jalāl-ol-Mamālek), son of prince Gholam Hossein Mirza, was a famous Iranian poet. Iraj was born in October 1874 in Tabriz, Iran. He was a descendant of Fath Ali Shah Qajar. Iraj was also a political activist. Gholam Hossein Mirza , Iraj's father, was a poet laureate or the official court-poet of Mozaffar al-Din Mirza, the son of Nasser-al-Din Shah (the fourth shah of Qajar dynasty). He studied at a branch of the House of Sciences and Techniques “Darolfonoon” in Tabriz. At 15, he was fluent in French, Arabic and Turkish. He was also ####familiar with the art of calligraphy. His handwriting was very artistic and he was and still is considered as one of the famous calligraphers of Iran. At 16, Iraj his father. He then took the position of his late father and became the court-poet of Mozaffar al-Din Mirza. Iraj was titled as the Head of Poets. He was then titled as Jalal-ol-mamalek. In 1917, Iraj joined the newly established Ministry of Culture, and three years later he was transferred to the Ministry of Finance and Revenue. From 1920 to 1925 he worked as a Revenue Officer in Mashhad, Iran. At 52, Iraj moved back to Tehran where he died on March 14, 1926.

Poems
Iraj is considered as one of the famous contemporary poets of Iran and also as the first Iranian master of colloquial poetry. In his verses he uses the actual words of everyday speech. The origin of this tendency has come to be identified with his name. Centuries earlier, the poet Ferdowsi in his epic book of Shahnameh had referred to someone by the name of Iraj as an Iranian who is noble and wise). Through Iraj, poetic language was enriched with many colloquial words and expressions. His simple poetic language is also famous for its witticism and satire. During Qajar era, Iraj was influenced by the Iranian or Persian Constitutional Revolution (1906-1911) and by the changing circumstances in the country. This fact is manifested in the particular style of poetry that he created. Modern and imported concepts, combined with what were obtained from his own thoughts, form the framework of his style. He criticizes the social conditions of the country, and the striking originality in his use of metaphor when addressing diverse social problems has been admirable by his critics. His style is rich in the Art of Simile. His striking sarcasm, pungent and fanged words are pointed at the dishonest clergy, businessmen, merchants and statesmen. Iraj also composed very nice double-rhymed verses and Fragments on the raising and education of children, maternal affection, love and romance. He was an enlightened, innovative poet, and tended to European thought. Despite his famous technical skills, he sometimes used similar cases of rhyme, which is considered by some poetry researchers as an intentional rejection of strict traditional poetical rules. Although Iraj was one of the pioneers of the innovative movement in the Persian Poetry, he never thought of abandoning the rules of the classic poetry. He is particularly famous for his pederastic and satirical poetry. Among many poems that Iraj composed, his well-known poems include: Satan, Mother, A Letter to a Poet Aref Ghazvini (Arefnameh), Woman's Picture, Story of the Veil or Hijab and the Story of Zohreh and Manouchehr which is based on William Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis. Iraj could not bear to see that life was intolerable, unbearable and miserable for the courageous and valorous women of Iran at that time. He was buried in Tehran.

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