Poetry and literature
Among ancient nations the Iranians have a long history of literature and poetry spoken and written in various dialects. Starting from Zoroaster’s Gathas until the modern Persian literature the Iranian literature is brimful of reveals creative spirit and beliefs of Iranian writers. The tablets, inscriptions and books which have descended to us from thousand years B.C. are the loveliest productions of human mind and some books are considered masterpieces in the world. Who is ignorant of the worth of Ferdowsi’s grand Shahnameh or Epic of Kings, Khayyam’s lovely quatrains and Jalaloldin Rumi’s Massena (narrative poems), and the finished lyrics of Sa’di and Hafez?
The subjects of most of the Iranian poems and prose deal with Almighty God, description of nature, spiritual love, loyalty, mysticism and method of reaching spiritual perfection by resorting to loveliest allegories and metaphors, proverbs and parables. Perhaps it is the impact of these outstanding prose and poems which have encouraged the Eastern thinkers to incline towards spiritual subjects. The Iranian contemporary poets compose both classic poems and free verse which has boosted and modernized Persian literature. Among the modems one may refer to the poems of Shahriyar, Nima Yushij, Parvin E’etesami, Sohrab Sepchri, Ahmad Shamloo and Mehdi Akhavan-Saless. Also Iran has many modem writers, mostly young, who have written about philosophy and social themes to meet the demand of the present community the majority of which are young.
Several languages are spoken in Iran. Persian is the most common and also the official Iranian language. Azerbaijani, Kurdish, Luri, Mazandarani, Gilaki, Arabic and Balochi are also the other languages that spread all around Iran. Smaller languages are spoken in some regions, including Talysh, Georgian, Armenian, Assyrian and Circassian, too.
Iran has one of the richest art heritages in world history and encompasses many disciplines including architecture, painting, weaving, carpet weaving, textile production, calligraphy, metalworking and stonemasonry and etc. There is also a very vibrant Iranian modern and contemporary art scene. Iranian art has gone through numerous phases. The unique aesthetics of Iran is evident from the Achaemenid reliefs in Persepolis to the mosaic paintings of Bishapur. The Islamic era brought drastic changes to the styles and practice of the arts, each dynasty with its own particular foci. The Qajarid era was the last stage of classical Persian art, before modernism was imported and suffused into elements of traditionalist schools of aesthetics.