Mehdi Akhavan Sales
He was born in 1928 in Mashhad, Khorasan province, where he completed his secondary education. In the early 1950s, he participated in the anti-government riots, common in Iran at the time, and was briefly jailed after the fall of the government of Dr. Mohammad Mosaddeq in 1953. His first collection of poems, “Organ” (Arqanun), was published. published in 1951. Between 1959 and 1965, he worked as a high school teacher and elementary school principal. He also assisted in dubbing educational films, as well as writing articles for popular newspapers and magazines.
In 1959, Sales published his book “The End of Shahnameh” (Akhar-e Shahnameh), in which he analyzed some of the contemporary socio-political problems of Iran in the context of the ancient myths and legends of the country, related by Ferdowsi. A year later he created a complementary vision of the same in his “From this Avesta” (Az in Avesta), again indirectly criticizing the government. In revenge, the government persecuted him and his followers for being anarchists. Similar activities in 1967 brought the poet to Qasr prison for a brief period. Upon his release, Akhavan joined the Ministry of Education and the National Radio and Television Organization of Iran. He died in 1990 in Tehran. His grave is in Tus, near Mashhad, next to that of Ferdowsi. According to critics, Mehdi Akhavan Sales is one of the best contemporary Persian poets. He is one of the pioneers of free verse in Persian literature, especially modern-style epics. For a long time he had the ambition to introduce a new style to Persian poetry.