Concept

Hushang Ebtehaj

Summary
Amir Hushang Ebtehaj (امیر هوشنگ ابتهاج; 25 February 1928 – 10 August 2022), also known by his pen name H. E. Sayeh (ه.ا.سایه, lit. Shadow), was an Iranian poet of the 20th century, whose life and work spans many of Iran's political, cultural and literary upheavals. Ebtehaj was born 25 February 1928 in Rasht in a prominent Baha'i family in Iran and had his primary schooling there before moving to Tehran. His first book of poetry, with an introduction by eminent poet Mehdi Hamidi Shirazi, was published when he was 19 years old. During Iran's open period following World War II, Sayeh got involved in various literary circles and contributed to various literary magazines such as Sokhan, Kavian, Sadaf, Maslehat, and others. Unlike many other literary figures of the time who got deeply involved in politics and left-leaning activities, Sayeh stayed true to his social and political consciousness but refrained from deeper involvement. He was employed at the National Cement Company for 22 years while continuing his literary activities. Later he was invited by the National Iranian Radio to produce the traditional music program "Golhaye Taze" and "Golchin Hafte." After the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the ensuing suppression, Sayeh spent a year in prison for his writings. After he was released, he began to work on "Hafez, by Sayeh," a verse-for-verse study of the various publications of Hafez. In 1987, he moved to Cologne, Germany, with his family and lived there, but he visited Iran several times a year. Sayeh died from kidney failure at his home in Cologne on 10 August 2022 at the age of 94. Sayeh published his first poetry collection while still a high school student in the northern province of Gilan, Iran. His total output, however, remains small because of his preoccupation with increased craftsmanship and exact phraseology. In the political climate of the 1940s, Sayeh was an ardent advocate of the poetry of social commitment. His early poetry reveals his concern with purposive literature.
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