Thousands of Iranians attended a funeral procession for prominent poet Houshang Ebtehaj on Friday, who died on August 10.
Born in 1928, Ebtehaj contributed to the popularity of the ghazal — a traditional form of Persian poetry set to music that expresses the writer’s feelings, especially about love, with moving intensity.
He was considered by many to be the last living old-school Iranian poet, whose work resembled classical Persian poetry giants.
Suffused with romance and melancholic longing, his body of work was not regarded as overly political.
But socialist politics were central to Ebtehaj’s identity.
He sympathized with Iran’s Communist Tudeh Party, and paid the price after the the overthrow of Iran’s secular Western-backed monarchy in 1979.
During the young Islamic Republic’s crackdown on leftists and liberals after the revolution, Ebtehaj landed in prison for nearly a year.
“Master Sayeh will never die in our hearts and minds. He will not die for those who love him. He will continue to live in our heats and minds and with his beautiful and great poems he will never die,” said Banafsheh Masoumi, 35, who attended the funeral.
Ebtehaj body will be buried in his hometown of Rasht, northern Iran.