DĀNEŠ, TAQĪ (b. Tabrīz, 1278 Š./1861, d. Tehran 5 Esfand 1327 Š./24 February 1948), poet and government official. His father, Mīrzā Ḥosayn Wazīr-e Tafrešī, also known as Bolūr (crystal), was a government accountant (mostawfī) and official of the private quarters at the court of Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah (1264-1313/1848-96). The young Dāneš studied literature and theology under Mīrzā Abu’l-Ḥasan Jelwa and Mollā ʿAbd-al-Ṣamad Yazdī and calligraphy under Mīrzā ʿAlī-Moḥammad Ṣafā. He served as revenue officer (mostawfī) and clerk under Mīrzā Yūsof Mostawfī-al-Mamālek in Tehran, Masʿūd Mīrzā Ẓell-al-Solṭān in Isfahan, Maḥmūd Nāṣer-al-Molk in Kurdistan (ten years) and Amīn-al-Solṭān in Tehran. At first known by the title żīāʾ-e laškar, he was later granted the title mostašār-e aʿẓam. He was transferred for a brief period to the foreign ministry and later appointed deputy governor (nāyeb-al-eyāla) of Yazd. He also spent some time in Khorasan on a government assignment. During the “lesser despotism” (estebdād-e ṣaḡīr) of Moḥammad-ʿAlī Shah (1324-27/1907-09) Dāneš was in Gīlān, where he joined the constitutionalists. During the reigns of Aḥmad Shah (1327-44/1909-25) and Reżā Shah (1304-20 Š./1925-41) he was the head of the justice department and mayor of Shiraz, where he remained for twenty years. He spent his last few years in Tehran.
In his verse technique Dāneš followed the classical poets, more particularly those of the Ḵorāsānī school, in his lifetime more commonly known as the Torkestānī school. He composed in many different poetic forms: qaṣīda, ḡazal, maṯnawī, qeṭʿa. His themes were equally diverse, encompassing philosophy, mysticism, history and politics (the constitutional movement [q.v.], the Ottoman occupation of Urmia, Reżā Shah in Ḵūzestān), patriotism, panegyric (to Imām ʿAlī, Ṣafā-ʿAlī Shah, Reżā Shah, Ẓahīr al-Dawla), chronograms (mādda-ye tārīḵ), riddles (loḡaz), burlesques (fokāhīyāt), and collegial correspondence (eḵwānīyāt). His divan has been published, and many poets and other literary figures have praised his work, among them Moḥammad-Ḥosayn Forūḡī, Šayḵ-al-Raʾīs Ḥayrat Qājār, and more recently Jalāl Homāʾī.
Dāneš’s reputation rests less on his serious poetry than on his Dīvān-e Ḥakīm Sūrī, a book of witty verses about culinary delights and conviviality, gourmandise, and freeloading. In this work he emulated the style and example of the 14th-century poet Bosḥāq Aṭʿema (q.v.) and others; the work is quite useful for the lexical and idiomatic elements that it contains. The Dīvān-e Ḥakīm Sūrī was first published in Bombay (1309/1891) and later reprinted in Tehran four times. Among Dāneš’s other compositions are Nūšīn-ravān, a maṯnawī about Ḵosrow I Anōšīravān; Taḏkera-ye āš-e kaškīān, emulating the satirical spirit of Taḏkera-ye yaḵčālīya by Mīrzā Moḥammad-ʿAlī Moḏahhab Eṣfahānī, written in 1260/1844; Taḏkera-ye ṣadr-e aʿẓamī, about poets who wrote in praise of Amīn al-Solṭān; and Nūn wa’l-qalam, a biographical taḏkera of calligraphers in three volumes. None of these works has yet been published.
M.-B. Borqaʿī, Soḵanvarān-e nāmī-e moʿāṣer I, Tehran, 1329 Š./1950, pp. 72-74.
T. Dāneš, Dīvān-e Ḥakīm Sūrī, Bombay, 1309/1891.
Idem, Dīvān-e qaṣāʾed, hazār ḡazal, moqaṭṭaʿāt, Tehran, 1337 Š./1958.
M. Esḥāq, Soḵanvarān-e Īrān dar ʿaṣr-e ḥāżer I, Calcutta, 1351/1932, pp. 141-52.
M. Hedāyat, Golzār-e jāvīdān I, Tehran, 1353 Š./1974, pp. 480-83.
D. Īrānī, Soḵanvarān-e dawrān-e Pahlavī, Bombay, 1933, pp. 274-76.
Originally Published: December 15, 1993
Last Updated: November 14, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. VI, Fasc. 6, pp. 650-651