ه‍.ش. ۱۳۹۲ مهر ۲۴, چهارشنبه

زنان نامدار ایران: ١٢ - رابعه ی بلخی نخستین شاعره ی پارسی گوی


==== An Introduction to the First Iranian Poetess ====

A Short Note on Early History of Persian Poetry: The history of Persian poetry has been mostly documented with Iranian poets, and little attention has been paid to the poetesses who composed their poetry in Iran. Persian poetry is as old as Avesta, the holy book of Zoroastrians, where the first form of poetry has been documented.
The prophet Zarathushtra, son of Pourushaspa, of the Spitaman family, is primarily known to Iranians through the Gathas. Gathas are seventeen great hymns, which he composed and they have been faithfully preserved by Zoroastrians. These are not the works of instruction. They are rather the inspired and passionate remarks, many of them addressed directly to God. And their poetic form is a very ancient one, which has been traced back to Indo-European era. Such poetry can only have been fully understood by the scholars; and since Zoroaster believed that he had been entrusted by God with a message for all mankind, he must also have preached again and again in plain words to ordinary people. His teachings were handed down orally in his community from generation to generation, and were at last committed to writing under the Sasanians, rulers of the third Iranian empire. The language then spoken was Middle Persian, also called Pahlavi (a name derived from Parthavi, that is, Parthian).
After Iran became a part of Moslem world, a knowledge of Arabic became necessary, for it was not only the language of the new rulers and their state, but of the religion they brought with them and, later, of the new learning. Though Pahlavi continued to be spoken in private life, Arabic was dominant in official circles for a century and a half. With the weakening of the central power, a modified form of Pahlavi emerged, with its Indo-European grammatical structure intact but simplified, and with a large infusion of Arabic words. This was Farsi, the Modern Persian in use today.
Though existing fragments of Persian poetry are believed to date from as early as the eighth century AD, the history of Persian literature properly begins with the lesser dynasties of the ninth and tenth centuries. The most important of these were the Samanids, who established at Bokhara the first of many brilliant courts that were to patronize learning and letters and Farsi was the official language of the courts. The most famous of the court poets were Rudaki and Daqiqi. Rudaki, generally regarded as the first great Persian poet or the Father of Persian Poetry, wrote a very large quantity of verses, of which little has been survived. His style direct, simple and unadorned, was to appear unpolished to some of the over-elaborate versifiers of later ages, but appeals more to modern tastes.
 

The First Iranian poetess: Rabe'eh Kaab Balkhi who was also called as Rabee Bent Kaabe Ghazdary, Rabe’eh Qozdari or just as Rabe'eh was most likely the first poetess in the History of Persian Poetry. The exact dates of her birth and death are unknown. But some evidences indicate she lived during the same period that Rudaki, the Father of Persian Poetry, was a court poet to the Samanid ruler Nassr II (914-943 AD).
She composed her poems in Farsi and she was a renounced poetess who was killed by her fundamental brother for proclaiming her love for a man in her poetry. Her father, Kaab, was a governor and when Kaab died his son named Haares, brother of Rabe’eh, became the governor. Some documents indicate that Haares used to treat people cruelly, opposite to his fathers will, and he usually liked to oppress her sister, Rabe’eh. Haares had a Turk slave named Baktash. Rabe’eh was secretly in lover with Bakhtash. In a court party where Haares and Rudaki had attended, Haares heard the secret of Rabe’eh from Rudaki. He then imprisoned Baktash in a well. He also cut the jugular vein of Rabe’eh and imprisoned her in a bathroom. She wrote her final poems with her blood on the wall of the bathroom until she passed away. Baktash escaped the well, and as soon as got the news about Rabe’eh, he went to the governor’s office and killed Haares. Shortly after, he also killed himself. Here is a part of one of her poems in Persian
 
عشق او باز اندر آوردم به بند/ کوشش بسیار نامد سودمند
توسنی کردم ندانستم همی/ کز کشیدن سخت تر گردد کمند
عشق دریایی کرانه ناپدید/ کی توان کردن شنا ای هوشمند
عشق را خواهی که تا پایان بری/ بس بباید ساخت با هر ناپسند
زشت باید دید و انگارید خوب/ زهر باید خورد و انگارید قند
 
 and here is its English version translated by this author
 
Your love caused me to be imprisoned again
 My effort to keep this love as a secret was in vain
 Love is as a sea with the shores you cannot see
 And a wise can never swim in such a sea.

Manouchehr Saadat Noury, PhD