Sohrab Sepehri

[Sohrāb Sepehrī]

In his chapter ‘Shards of Infinitude: Neoplatonist Relics in Modern Persian Poetry’ (FoI, 419-32) Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak describes Sohrāb Sepehrī as ‘perhaps the best example of a modernist nature poet in whose works the natural world seems to possess a soul all of its own’ (FoI, 425). Sepehrī is thereby much in keeping with the cosmology of the Enneads which also perceives all manifestations of nature as ‘ensouled’ and hence as bearing the imprint of their origin in the intelligible sphere. 

The poet’s ‘profession of faith’ reproduced below is a particularly striking example of the otherworldly implication such a vision must of needs entail. As noted by Karimi-Hakkak, these verses ‘posit a living soul in nature as the final arbiter of the beauty that points to some metaphysical space beyond all organised religion or faith- based practice’ (FoI, 426).

Sohrab Sepehri

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Sohrāb Sepehrī (1985), Montakhab-e Ashʿār (Selected Poems: Selections by A.-R. Aḥmadī) (Tehran, Tahuri), 90-1. English translation by © Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak.