Volume 2, Issue 4 (2011)                   LRR 2011, 2(4): 91-121 | Back to browse issues page

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Fotoohi Rudmajani M, Taebi Naghandari Z. A Scrutiny of Emerson's “On Persian Poetry” (An Account of Emerson's Comments on Persian Poetry). LRR. 2011; 2 (4) :91-121
URL: http://lrr.modares.ac.ir/article-14-11442-en.html
1- Professor, Department of Persian Language & Literature, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran
2- Ph.D., Student, Department of Persian Language & Literature, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran
Abstract:   (14217 Views)
In relation to the impact of Persian literature on the west, in the 19th century, Ralph Waldo Emerson is one of the most outstanding American figures. His interest in Persian poetry, particularly that of Hafiz, encouraged him to translate some Persian poems into English. He also composed some poems with oriental inclinations, inspired by Hafiz and the mystical poetry of some other Persian poets. Emerson also wrote an essay, entitled “On Persian Poetry”, in which he introduced German translations of Persian literature as his source of knowledge and revealed his high regards for Persian poets. However, his greater admiration for Hafiz than for others in this essay is due to the fact that to him Hafiz, while being a greater poet, was a liberated minded intellectual as well. This study is an attempt to scrutinize Emerson’s observations of Persian poetry. First, the sources from which he acquired his oriental notions will be examined. Then his view on Persian poetry will be focused upon, and finally his praise for the merits of Hafiz’s poetry including: intellectual liberty, transcendental vision, Takhalloss (his mode of copyright), the function of the hidden layer of meaning in his poetry, etc. are going to be examined. This comparative study will finally present Emerson’s misconceptions in the field of Persian poetry. His mistakes and misconceptions might be the result of cultural differences, his lack of knowledge of Persian language and different time span in which the two poets lived.
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Published: 2011/09/25

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