Sohrab Sepehri

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Sohrab Sepehri
Sohrab Sepehri (1975).jpg
Born(1928-10-07)October 7, 1928
DiedApril 21, 1980(1980-04-21) (aged 51)
Tehran, Iran
Resting placeMashhad-e Ardahal, Kashan, Iran
OccupationPersian poet and painter
Signature of Sohrab Sepehri.svg

Sohrab Sepehri (Persian: سهراب سپهری; October 7, 1928 – April 21, 1980) was a notable Iranian poet and a painter. He is considered to be one of the five most famous Iranian poets who have practiced modern poetry alongside Nima Youshij, Ahmad Shamlou, Mehdi Akhavan-Sales, and Forough Farrokhzad.[1] Sepehri's poems have been translated into several languages including; English, French, Spanish, Italian and Lithuanian.[2][3]


Sohrab was born in Kashan, Iran in 1928. He completed his elementary and secondary education in Kashan and moved to Tehran in 1943 to study at teachers' college (Persian: دانشسرای مقدماتی). He worked as a teacher for a few years, then enrolled as a student in the faculty of fine arts school at University of Tehran (Persian: دانشکده هنرهای زیبا) and graduated with honors. Sohrab Sepehri was very talented in fine arts and his paintings were displayed in many European exhibits. He is one of Iran's foremost modernist painters. Unfortunately, Sohrab suffered from leukaemia which terminated his short but rich life on April 28, 1980. Sohrab never got married and his grave in Kashan is frequently visited by many art lovers.[4][5]


Well-versed in Buddhism, mysticism, and Western traditions, he blended the Eastern concepts with Western techniques, thereby creating a kind of poetry unsurpassed in the history of Persian literature. To him, new forms were new means to express his thoughts and feelings. In one of his works called 'Footsteps of Water' or ‘The Water’s Footfall’ Sepehri introduces himself, his family, and his way of thinking in a poetic form. This poem which is written like a biography has two aspects: the inner and outer. The Inner aspect of this poem is about God's recognition through the beauty of nature. Sepehri beautifully explains that he doesn't blindly do his religious duties. In most of his poems, Sepehri introduces a new form of literature by using romanticism and symbolism. The beauty of his poems is seen through his inspiration of nature and the use of tender and simple language. Abdolali Dastgheib, acclaimed literary critic writer, believes that Sepehri has reached great levels in poetic language following the publication of his later books such as ‘The Water’s Footfall’, ‘Traveler’ and ‘The Green Volume’. He has used a special symbolism in these poems that makes the objects talk to the reader, rather than explaining those objects.[6] Sepehri's poetry is full of humanity and concern for human values. His poetry has been translated into many languages including English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Swedish, Arabic, Turkish and Russian. An English translation of his selected poems by Ali Salami was published in 2003.


  • Born in 1928 – Kashan – Iran
  • He hosted a painting exhibition - Tehran 1944
  • He published his first poetry book (The Death of Color) that followed by a few other books in the same year - 1951
  • He graduated from the fine arts university with Bachelor of Arts degree in painting from Honar-haye Ziba University,[7] Tehran – 1953
  • He translated some Japanese poetry into Persian and published them in a literary magazine called Sokhan – 1955
  • He traveled to Ghazvin and attended the Paris Fine Arts School in lithography – 1957
  • He traveled to Tokyo to further his studies in lithography and wood carving – 1960
  • He published three books in poetry – 1960
  • On the way back to Iran from Japan, he visited India and became familiar with the ideology of Buddhism – 1961
  • He traveled to India again and visited several cities and provinces – 1964
  • He traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan 1964
  • He traveled to Europe and visited several countries such as Germany, England, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy and Austria – 1966
  • He published some long poems after he returned to Iran – 1966
  • He hosted a painting exhibition in Tehran 1967
  • He published another book in poetry 1967
  • He traveled to Greece and Egypt – 1974
  • He published his final book called 'Hasht Ketab' (Eight Books), which was the collection of almost all of his published poems in one volume – 1976
  • He got Leukemia and traveled to England for treatment – 1978
  • Unfortunately, his attempt to defeat cancer brought him no result. He returned to Iran and died in Pars Hospital in Tehran on Monday April 21, 1980. Buried in Mashhad Ardehal, Kashan Province, Iran.


  • Hasht Ketab (Eight Books) 1976
  • The Death of Color 1951
  • The Life of Dreams 1953
  • Us nil, us a look Was not published until 1977
  • Downpour of Sunshine 1958
  • East of Sorrow 1961
  • The Wayfarer 1966
  • The Green Space 1967 (A poem from this book: The Oasis of Now (1965) translated by Kazim Ali with Mohammad Jafar Mahallati, BOA Editions, 2013.)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Behrooz, Anahit. "10 Inspiring Iranian Poets and Their Verses".
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Abdolali Dastgheib, 2006. The Green Garden of Poetry, Critical Review of poems by Sohrab Sepehri. Amitis Publishers, Tehran, Iran. ISBN 964-8787-08-5. (Title in Persian: باغ سبز شعر )
  6. ^ Dastgheib, Abdolali. The Green Garden of Poetry, Critical Review of poems by Sohrab Sepehri, 2006. Amitis Publishers, Tehran, Iran. ISBN 964-8787-08-5. (Title in Persian: باغ سبز شعر)
  7. ^ تبیان, موسسه فرهنگی و اطلاع رسانی (1 January 2019). "Sohrab Sepehri". سایت موسسه فرهنگی و اطلاع رسانی تبیان.

Further reading[edit]

  • The Lover Is Always Alone. Trans. Karim Emami. Tehran: Sokhan,
  • Sepehri, Sohrab, and Riccardo Zipoli. While poppies bloom: Poems and Panoramas. Trans. Karim Emami. Tehran: Zarrin-o-Simin Books, 2005.
  • Bidi, Hamed. "Where Are My Shoes?" While Poppies Bloom. 12 Oct 2006. 24 Oct 2000
  • Valiabdi, Mostafa. Hichestan.Tehran: Tiam, 2005.
  • Karimi-Hakkak, Ahmad. Hasht Ketab: Professor Hakkak's view on the Sepehri's esthetic vision and significance.United States: Ketabe Gooya, 2005.
  • Sepehri, Parvaneh. The Blue Room. Tehran: Gooya, 2003.
  • Sepehri, Paridokht. Wherever I am, let me be! Tehran: Peykan, 2005.
  • Sayar, Pirouz. Paintings and Drawings Of Sohrab Sepehri. Tehran: Soroush Press, 2002.
  • Sepehri, Paridokht. Sohrab, the Migratory Bird. Tehran: Tahouri, 1996.
  • Hamid Siahpoush. The Lonely Garden: Sohrab Sepehri's Remembrance. Tehran: Negah, 2003.
  • Abdolali Dastgheib. 2006. The Green Garden of Poetry, Critical Review of poems by Sohrab Sepehri. Amitis Publishers, Tehran, Iran. ISBN 964-8787-08-5. (Title in Persian: باغ سبز شعر.)
  • Martin Turner (1988) The poetry of Sohrab Sepehri, Wasafiri, 4:9, 18–21, doi:10.1080/02690058808574175. Retrieved from:

External links[edit]

Media related to Sohrab Sepehri at Wikimedia Commons