JAZI (Gazi), DARVIŠ ʿABBĀS (1847-1905), dialect poet from whom survives a divān in the dialect of Gaz, an oasis north of Isfahan. All that is known about him is based on the occasional references in his own poetry. His father was from Gaz and his mother, Māndagār, from Murčaḵort, another village of the Borkᵛòār rural district (boluk) of Isfahan. Darviš ʿAbbās’ formal education began at the age of seven, but it was interrupted due to economic hardship. He began composing poems in his mid-teens (Ḡazaliyāt, pp. xxix-xxx), which had brought him recognition already by the age of thirty-six, when Valentin Alekseevich Zhukovskiĭ collected ten ḡazals, a robāʿi, and a baḥr-e ṭawil of him in Isfahan (Zhukovskiĭ, II, pp. 33-41). Darviš ʿAbbās lived a simple life, being supported on occasion by the wealthy, whom he panegyrized (e.g., Ḡazaliyāt, p. 450). He was connected to the Gonābādi Sufi order, but he probably never joined it, as he held a critical view of all sects (Eilers and Schapka, I, p. 23; cf. Ḡazaliyāt, p. xxi).
Darviš ʿAbbās left a divān of about 10,000 couplets, titled Eršād al-walad, which survives in more than one manuscript. It contains chiefly ḡazals but also other genres (qaṣida, maṯnawi, mosammaṭ, tarkib-band, and baḥr-e ṭawil). The principal manuscript, apparently in the poet’s own hand and bearing marks of his seals, is in 396 pages, dated 1902 (Eilers and Schapka, I, pp. 22-24). Wilhelm Eilers (q.v.), having had this manuscript hand-copied, appended its facsimile to the first volume of his Gazi collections, which contains also the Roman transcription and German translation of twenty-nine poems (Eilers and Schapka, text nos. 209-37). More recently, the co-villagers of Gaz published, in Perso-Arabic script, 236 ḡazals of his based on two manuscripts (Ḡazaliyāt, pp. xv-xvi), one of which appears to be identical with the one copied by Eilers (Borjiān).
The poems of Darviš ʿAbbās are generally lyrical-mystical and satirical in tone, with a strong sense of humor that has made him popular among not only the people of Gaz but also the speakers of the neighboring dialects and beyond. As did many other composers of the fahlaviyāt, he felt free in imbuing his work with abstract images of classical Persian literature and a flowing, ornate language suffused with Persian words and idioms. His efforts, however, to cast his dialect verses into the exact meters of classical Persian prosody hardly proved successful (Borjiān). Not the least of its claims to attention is the light that his poetry throws on language development. A number of words and phrases in his poetry are already unintelligible to the speakers of Gazi (e.g., taklar žantāmun “to make an effort, to exert oneself,” ewartāmun “to tear, rip,” šānn-o-wān “go and say [?]”); thus the meaning of many verses remain obscure. Even more interesting is perhaps the phonological features; for instance, the variations of the third person singular enclitic pronoun from -š, to -ž and -y (see CENTRAL DIALECTS), as in olokī-š (Ḡazaliyāt, no. 48), ulūkī-ž (Zhukovskiĭ, II, no. 10, p. 38), and oloki-y (current pronunciation) “its hole” (for other developments, see Borjiān).
Darviš ʿAbbās Jazi, Ḡazaliyāt-e Darviš ʿAbbās Jazi, ba guyeš-e gazi bā bargardāni-e kalamāt wa tarkibāt-e maḥalli, ed. Ḥosayn-ʿAli Moḥammadi, Moḥammad-Reżā Qowwatmand, and Aḥmad Ḵāksār, Isfahan, 1992.
Ḥabib Borjiān, “Taṣḥiḥ-e motun-e guyeši: divān-e Darviš ʿAbbās Jazi,” Irān-šenāsi/Iranshenasi 17/2, 2005, forthcoming.
Wilhelm Eilers and Ulrich Schapka, Westiranische Mundarten aus der Sammlung W. Eilers II: Die Mundart von Gäz, 2 vols., Wiesbaden, 1979.
Aḥmad Fāżel, “Barrasi-e vižagihā-ye zabāni o dasturi-e guyeš-e gazi, hamrāh bā šawāhed-i az divān-e Darviš ʿAbbās Jazi,” M.A. thesis, University of Isfahan, 1995.
Valentin A. Zhukovskiĭ, Materialy dliya izucheniya persidskikh narechiĭ, Petrograd, 1888-1922, II; repr. as Materials for the Study of Iranian Dialects, 3 vols. in 1, Tehran, 1976.
Originally Published: December 15, 2008
Last Updated: April 13, 2012
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