Saturday, May 17, 2008

Persian Perspective

This be a depiction of the Shayad Monument comissioned by Farah, the wife of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (Shah of Iran) about 1971, in Teheran. Renamed Azadi (freedom) Tower after the 1979 revolution which sent the Shah into exile. It is clad in white marble and inset under with tile mosaic. The arch appears to be a Lamella truss. A diamond pattern also used for the astrodome in Houston.

This fellow ruled as monarch from '41 to '79 and was in later years considered by his people to be a corrupt dictator and a tool of the US and the British. In 1953 after the duly elected Prime Minister named Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh nationalized the Iranian oil companies, which previously the British had controlled, the US and Britain engineered a coup d'etat to get rid of him and restore the Shah and his crony to power thus keeping oil out of the hands of the pesky Iranian companies.
At least his wife had good taste judging by her approval of this structure. There is a museum at the base and an elevator to the top where one can peer out over the city and the 15 hectare (about 38 acres) park with fountains surrounding.

This creation is from an art festival on the island of Hormoz in the Persian Gulf last January.

More to be seen at this link.
Iran lost 500,000 "martyrs" to the war with Iraq and Saddam Hussein's weapons of individual destruction provided mostly by US, in the 80's.

You wonder if it is more noble to kill for a country or to kill for a god. You wonder if it makes any difference to the long run.

I wondered what a 13th century prophet had to say:

The Silent Articulation of a Face

Love comes with a knife,
not some shy question,
and not with fears
for its reputation!

I say these things disinterestedly.
Accept them in kind.

Love is a madman, working his wild schemes, tearing off his clothes,
running through the mountains, drinking poison,
and now quietly choosing annihilation.

A tiny spider tries to wrap an enormous wasp.
Think of the spiderweb woven across the cave
where Muhammad slept!

There are love stories
and there is obliteration into love.

You've been walking the ocean's edge,
holding up your robes to keep them dry.
You must dive naked under and deeper under,
a thousand times deeper!

Love flows down!!
The ground submits to the sky and suffers
what comes.
Tell me, is the earth worse for giving in like that?
Don't put blankets over the drum!
Open completely.
Let your spirit-ear listen to the green dome's passionate murmur.

Let the cords of your robe be untied.
Shiver in this new love beyond all above and below.

The sun rises, but which way
does the night go?

I have no more words. Let soul speak with the silent
articulation of a face.


. . . oh, right

thanks naj


  1. What a unique structure - what and where is it exactly?

  2. wow! that's amazing and the story behind...thanks for sharing. ;0)

  3. Very striking --it is something I'd like to see in person--
    The funny thing about it, is, it looks so "seventies" to me it may as well be wearing disco shoes.

  4. oh I like those little peace guys, but they look small and sad and ineffective, you know?

  5. lovely thoughts and beautiful images


  6. Great mosaic and love letters in the sand

  7. You have visited me and left a lovely comment on one of my poems. Are you my Naj? I am old and remember the Shah. We did not know of his goons, his torturers, his crimes against his people. I can only say in defense of my ignorance, I was young then. I did not know what we were capable of to gobble up the oil of another's land. Now I know what we are capable of. Thanks to the Bush/Cheney years, we have learned that we are capable of torture in the name of our state for no good reason.

    I was married to a man who got a teaching job at South west Missouri State. Are you near there?

    Have you read the book "Reading Lolita In Tehran?" That is what I know of Iran since the "revolution that brought Kohemeni (sp?) to power and sent the shah into exile to die in America. Tyranny or tyranny? Which is preferable?

  8. What an amazing building.... just wow......


  9. Hi Goatman,
    What a lovely post,and beautiful pictures.. ;-D

  10. I remember in the eighties the young blackbearded men with one leg or one arm, illegal here, from both sides of the front, no hate left, just destruction.

  11. Thank you so much for your kind visit.
    Your place is Perfect and very interesting.
    Thanks for this great, wise post.

    Good luck and many blessings to you!

  12. hi

    oil politics is one of the worst history has ever seen and a new effective energy resources is required quickly. 15 years is not far a time to see the greatest depletion.

    last year, when my wife came back from sudan after project gas pipeline handover to the local government, already lots of propaganda pressured on sudan.

    sudan is calculated to be another oil major producer and already branded as 'terrorist breeding country'.

    once the alternative energy resources (preferable green - wind, solar, ocean wave, earth heat thermal, batteries) is widely used ... i believe 'the oil politics' should be over.

  13. Wonderful post!!! The building is beautiful. Is it not very sad that so many humans long for peace. Long for acceptance and those few in charge do not hear our cries, our requests to stop all human tragedy.War is the hell that we create upon this particle of heaven called earth!

  14. I thought I had left a comment on this post, but as usual, I wandered off to truly digest your words...and forgot to come back.

    Goatman, you have a way with words that make me think, and I thank you for it. The link you gave (where I wandered off to) brought me to tears.

    When so many of us want peace, why can we not attain it?

  15. impressive architecture and thank you for the historical titbit.

    powerful poem, too.

  16. Came back to read the Rumi again. Great reminder of what great poetry is about. The poet in me searching for the great poetic voices.

  17. The second photograph reminds me of a fractal. :)

  18. Beautiful! c.) all of the above.

    Hope you are well!


  19. Wow, how beautiful is that! Love the story behind it all.

  20. it is a nice structre...however i find persian and arabian architecture too bound by religious restrictions ...which results is duplicity of same designs!!

  21. nice pictures but even more interesting is the story behind it. The Rumi verse was beautiful .. I think I'll save it :) thanks for sharing ..

  22. Its really great structure ..Is it in Iran

  23. What an amazing structure. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    "You wonder if it is more noble to kill for a country or to kill for a god." I hadn't thought of it that way before.

    (And since at least one side is killing for their god, that is why, I think, it will NEVER end.)

    Thanks for the visit today! Come back again sometime.

  24. Dear Goatman. I have written a new short story. I wrote in in one sitting. Finished in less than a day. Never have I written anything so fast. Would love your opinion and the story take place in Springfield, MO. It's called The End Of Love and is the first story in Savage Stories. Thanks for your visit today. Keep writing you wonderful poetry. You have a gift for it.

  25. about Azadi Square, after revolution, Iranis have renamed just about everything after Khomeni, including the beautiful Nisf Jehan Square in Esfahan, thankfully, they did not name this beautiful piece of architecture after the infamous ceric

  26. Much to my embarrassment, I missed this post; and many other lovely ones; being off-blog for most of the summer. I am slowly recovering from one set of life turmoils; please forgive my absence.

    And, you're more than welcome! :)