Portrait of Parvin E'tesami
16 March 1907|
|Died||5 April 1941
Parvin E'tesami (Persian: پروین اعتصامی) (March 16, 1907 – April 5, 1941), also Parvin Etesami, was a 20th-century Persian poet of Iran. According to Ali Akbar Dehkhoda, her given name was Rakhshanda (Persian: رخشنده).
Parvin E'tesami was born in 1907 in Tabriz to Mirza Yusuf Etesami Ashtiani (E'tesam-al-Molk), who in turn was the son of Mirza Ebrahim Khan Mostawfi Etesam-al-Molk. Mirza Ebrahim Khan Mostawfi Etesam-al-Molk was originally from Ashtiyan, but moved to Tabriz and was appointed financial controller of the province of Azerbaijan by the Qajar administration. Parvin had four brothers and her mother died in 1973.
She studied at the American Girls College in Tehran, graduated in 1924 from the Iran Bethel, an American high school for girls. Afterwards, she taught for a while at that school.
In 1926, she received an invitation to become the tutor of the queen of the new Pahlavi court, but she refused.
In 1938-39 she worked for several months at the library of Danesh-Saraay-e 'Aali, today's Tarbiat Moallem University of Tehran. Her father died in 1938, and she died only three years later. She was buried near her father in Qom.
Parvin was around seven or eight years old when her poetic ability was revealed. Through her father's encouragement, she versified some literary pieces which were translated from western sources by her father. In 1921-22, some of her earliest known poems were published in the Persian magazine Bahar (Spring). The first edition of her Diwan (book of poetry) compromised 156 poems and appeared in 1935. The famous poet and scholar Mohammad Taqi Bahar wrote an introduction to her work. The second edition of her book, edited by her brother Abu'l Fatha Etesami, appeared shortly after her death in 1941. It consisted of 209 different compositions in Mathnawi, Qasida, Ghazal, and Qeta, and stanzaic forms. It totaled 5606 distiches.
In her short life, she managed to achieve great fame amongst Iranians. Parvin's poetry follows the classical Persian tradition its form and substance. She remained unaffected by or perhaps ignored the modernistic trends in Persian poetry. In the arrangement of her poetry book, there are approximately 42 untitled Qasidas and Qet'as (another form of Persian poetry). These works follower a didactic and philosophical styles of Sanai and Naser Khusraw. Several other Qasidas, particularly in the description of nature show influences from the poet Manuchehri. There are also some Ghazals in her Diwan.
Another form of poetry, the monazara (debate), claims the largest portions of Parvin's Divan. She composed approximately sixty-five poems in the style of monazara and seventy-five anecdotes, fables, and allegories. According to Professor Heshmat Moayyad: "Parvin wrote about men and women of different social backgrounds, a wide-ranging array of animals, birds, flowers, trees, cosmic and natural elements, objects of daily life, abstract concepts, all personified and symbolizing her wealth of ideas. Through these figures she holds up a mirror to others showing them the abuses of society and their failure in moral commitment. Likewise, in these debates she eloquently expresses her basic thoughts about life and death, social justice, ethics, education, and the supreme importance of knowledge".
- Heshmat Moayyad. Parvin Etesami. Encyclopædia Iranica. Retrieved April 4, 2010.
- C. Kramarae and D. Splender (2000). Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women: Global Women's Issues. Routledge. p. 1273. ISBN 0-415-92091-4.
- Iran Chamber Society: Parvin E'tesami
- Heshmat Moayyad. "Etesami, Mirza Yusuf Khan Ashtiani, Etesam-al-Molk". Encyclopedia Iranica. Retrieved April 4, 2010.
- Encyclopedia Iranica, "Etesami, Mirza Yusuf Khan Ashtiani, Etesam al-Molk", Heshmat Moayyad.  (accessed May 2011)
- Poetry of Parvin Etesami in original Persian
- Biography of Parvin Etesami
- E'tesami, Parvin, a brief biography by Professor Iraj Bashiri, University of Minnesota.
- Encyclopædia Iranica, "Parvin Etesami", Heshmat Moayyad
- Encyclopedia Iranica, "Etesami, Mirza Yusuf Khan Ashtiani, Etesam al-Molk", Heshmat Moayyad