DĀVARĪ ŠĪRĀZĪ, Mīrzā Moḥammad (b. Shiraz 1238/1822-23, d. Shiraz, 1283/1866), poet, calligrapher, and painter of some renown in Qajar Persia and a contemporary of Moḥammad Shah (1250-64/1834-48) and Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah (1264-1313/1848-96). He was the third son of the famous poet and calligrapher Mīrzā Moḥammad-Ṣafī Weṣāl, with whom he studied Arabic grammar and theology; he also studied with his older brother Aḥmad Weqār. Dāvarī tried his hand at various kinds of poetry, but he excelled at qaṣīdas (odes). Some of his qaṣīdas rank among the best known in Persian; they also attest to his mastery of Arabic language and literature. In addition, he was well versed in Turkish and composed several qeṭʿas (fragments) in that language. In fact, his molammaʿāt—verses with meṣrāʿs (hemistichs) or bayts (distichs) in alternating languages—in Persian, Arabic, and Turkish are among the finest in that genre. His other works include a dīvān of about 15,000 verses, Resāla dar ʿelm-e ʿarūż, Resāla dar maʿānī wa bayān, and an unpublished Turkish-Persian dictionary, the whereabouts of which do not appear to be known (Dāvarī Šīrāzī, introd., pp. 15, 29).
Dāvarī was also a master of nastaʿlīq calligraphy and a painter. The best specimen of his calligraphy is a copy of the Šāh-nāma now preserved in the Reżā ʿAbbāsī Museum in Tehran. It took him five years to finish and includes drawings by himself and the painter Loṭf-ʿAlī, as well as one drawing by Dāvarī’s brother Farhang. At the end of the manuscript there is a beautiful maṯnawī by Dāvarī in which he described his five-year labor. Individual portraits by him are preserved in several public and private collections. After the death of his brother Ḥakīm (1239-74/1824-58) he traveled to Tehran to be received at the court of Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah; the shah granted him a generous lifetime annuity (Dāvarī Šīrāzī, introd., p. 21).
According to several anecdotes, Dāvarī had a short temper and was quick to take offense. He was pious and devoted to the Shiʿite imams, whom he eulogized in several qaṣīdas and maṯnawīs. He is buried in the shrine of Sayyed Mīr Aḥmad at Shiraz.
Browne, Lit. Hist. Persia IV, pp. 319-22.
Dāvarī Šīrāzī, Dīvān-e Dāvarī, ed. ʿA. Nūrānī Weṣāl, Tehran, 1370 Š./ 1991, pp. 9-30.
Aḥmad b. Abu’l-Ḥasan Dīvānbegī, Ḥadīqat-al-šoʿarāʾ, ed. ʿA-Ḥ. Navāʾī, Tehran, 1366 Š./1987, pp. 604-13.
N. Ḵosravānī, “Dāvarī Šīrāzī,” Armaḡān 11, 1309 Š./1930, pp. 201-06.
Y. Māhyār Nawwābī, Ḵāndan-e Weṣāl Šīrāzī, Tabrīz, 1335 Š./1956.
ʿA. Rūḥānī Weṣāl, Golšān-e Weṣāl, Tehran, 1319 Š./1940, pp. 294-300.
(ʿAbd-al-Wahhāb Nūrānī Weṣāl)
Originally Published: December 15, 1994
Last Updated: November 18, 2011
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Vol. VII, Fasc. 2, p. 135