Literature, particularly poetry, is central to everyday life and politics in Iran. The relationship between Persian poetic discourse and power has been pivotal in the development of Iran’s socio-political structure and national identity. No government, however, has been as conscious of this crucial dynamic as the Islamic Republic theocracy that evolved out of the revolution of 1979. Throughout the revolution, and theIran-Iraq War that followed, the poetic form was deployed to mobilize the nation and reinforce the ideological state apparatus. The ruling elites identified the one thing every Iranian could access—poetry, and a love for poetry—and engineered this to become a powerful propaganda tool. By delving deeper into the origins and consequences of this relationship between poetry and power in post-revolutionary Iran, this talk introduces a new canon of poetry that rose to prominence after the establishment of the Islamic Republic as well as the politics of this literary recanonization in the past four decades.
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