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Writing Iranian History For 3000 Years

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RonPrice View Drop Down
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  Quote RonPrice Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Writing Iranian History For 3000 Years
    Posted: 10-Oct-2005 at 06:54

THE MACHINE

Poems arent made of beautiful thoughts; poems are machines made out of words.

-William Carlos Wiliams, found on The Internet.

I have long wanted to try to summarize Iranian history in a poem. I have read about Iran and talked about it for years, as one inevitably does, being a member of a religion with its origin in Iran. Not being a specialist, a historian, or even someone particularly versed in that history, I have tried to take what I know and forge this knowledge into some expression, some machine, that puts the nearly three millennia of its history into focus, at least an initial focus for future revision and elaboration. The exercise is not unlike making a machine: to forge 3000 years into twenty-five lines is indeed a machine-like exercise. The exercise is impossible artistically-aesthetically; it needs the efficiency of a machine to make such a coldly efficient, but somewhat crude, attempt. -Ron Price, 4:15 pm, 9 January 1996, Rivervale, WA.

Your civilization, culture, nation,

has been nibbling at other civilizations

for millennia(or been nibbled), as far back

as the Assyrians some 2700 years ago and

before then beyond Turkestan or the Caucasus.

Your first dynasty of kings, the Achaemenid,

had its origin in a semi-mythical king nurtured

by an eagle. But then you conquered(no nibble)

all the four great powers of the middle east:

Egypt, Babylonia, Media and Lydia.

You provided, under Cyrus, a unifying empire

and you gave peace to Western Asia for 200

years(550-350 BC), before the Seleucids and

the Sassanians ruled you and then another

story begins under the Arabs and Byzantines.

And on-and-on past: Turks, Mongols, Safavids

Qajars and Pahlavi: long, tortured centuries,

until you produced a King of Kings Whom

you exiled to that once great city, Baghdad

and then to Constantinople, the end of the jetty.*

Installing Him in that prison city Akka

to finish out His days, you seemed to lose

all greatness. Cyrus old dream of unity

will be realized in your lands. Billions

will come to you, revering His sacred places.

Some mythological-metaphorical eagle

will again ensure your greatness, nurturing,

as he has, the origins of a spiritual dynasty

that will last half a million years over the

entire surface of the Earth: O Persia!

Behold and wonder!

9 January 1996

 

* Constantinople is sometimes referred to as the end of the jetty of Western Asia.

Modern Turkey, as you can see on a map, sticks out like a jetty from the continental landmass of Asia.

 

Ron Price has been married for 47 years(in 2014) and a teacher for 35. He has been a writer and editor for 15, and a Baha'i for 55(in 2014).
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Zagros View Drop Down
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  Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Oct-2005 at 10:30
Nice poem, but by the way, the Sassanians and Medians were also Iranians, the Sassanians being Persian.
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  Quote azimuth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Oct-2005 at 10:36

 

the last persian king of kings died in Egypt not in constantinopola.

 

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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Feb-2011 at 14:46
Boyce and Grenet explain the traditions for seasonal festivals and comment:"It is possible that the splendor of the Babylonian festivities at this season led the Persians to develop their own spring festival into an established new year feast, with the name Navasarda 'New Year' (a name which, though first attested through Middle Persian derivatives, is attributed to the Achaemenian period). Since the communal observations of the ancient Iranians appear in general to have been a seasonal ones, it is probable, however, that they traditionally held festivals in both autumn and spring, to mark the major turning points of the natural year".
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  Quote RonPrice Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Mar-2011 at 21:29
Thanks, Zagros, for helping me get my facts right. -Ron
Ron Price has been married for 47 years(in 2014) and a teacher for 35. He has been a writer and editor for 15, and a Baha'i for 55(in 2014).
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  Quote RonPrice Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Mar-2011 at 21:30
thanks, azimuth, for helping me to keep my story on track.-Ron

 


 

Ron Price has been married for 47 years(in 2014) and a teacher for 35. He has been a writer and editor for 15, and a Baha'i for 55(in 2014).
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  Quote RonPrice Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Mar-2011 at 21:32
This post, Aligujjar, is a useful inclusion in this thread. Belated apologies for not getting back to this site sooner. Life is busy even in retirement.-Ron
Ron Price has been married for 47 years(in 2014) and a teacher for 35. He has been a writer and editor for 15, and a Baha'i for 55(in 2014).
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