Life. Hamid Mosaddeq was the second child born to Hāj ʿAbd-al Ḥosayn Moṣaddeq and Ašraf Āqā Moḥammadi, a prominent family from Šahreżā (Qomšeh), a city 80 kilometers from Isfahan (Ḥariri, 1989, p. 125), where Hamid began his primary education. Later, the family moved to Isfahan, and Hamid completed his secondary education at Adab High School there (Abumaḥbub, 2001, p. 21). Having been involved with literature and poetry since childhood, he founded the Ṣāʾeb Literary Circle (Anjoman-e adabi-e Ṣāʾeb) in 1956, when he was barely sixteen, with gatherings initially being held at the gravesite of Ṣāʾeb Tabrizi in Isfahan.
Later Mosaddeq went to Tehran and enrolled at the University of Tehran’s Faculty of Law and Political Sciences. Graduating in 1967, he worked as a lecturer at the University of Tehran and the National University (Dānešgāh-e Melli), and later at the Kerman School of Management (Abumaḥbub, p. 39). He returned to Tehran a few years later and joined the Bar Association in 1974, while teaching at ʿAllāma Ṭabāṭabā’i University.
In Tehran he founded the literary circle Omid, which took its title from the pseudonym of Mehdi Akhavan-e Saless, the preeminent contemporary poet. In 1968 Mosaddeq married Lāleh Ḵošknābi, a niece of Moḥammad Ḥosayn Šahryār, and had two daughters, Ḡazal and Tarāneh. He died of heart complications at the age of 59 and is buried in the artists’ sector of Behešt-e Zahrā Cemetery.
Poetry. Mosaddeq’s poetry is simple in diction and poetical imagery and generally devoid of obscure or obtuse references. Veering toward the moderate spectrum of Nimaic poetry, his poems are often laden with social and political themes and imagery. They are explicitly informed by national legends and myths and pronounce his praise and impassionate love for the homeland (Ḥasanzāda-Mirʿali and Ḥosayni Kalbādi, pp. 49-64; ʿAlinežād, pp. 520-26). The clarity of his syntax and the easily accessible imagery of his poems, which usually sustain a balance between the old and new, have earned him a wide reception and the high praise of many readers, more often than not, from the younger strata of the population.
Mosaddeq’s first poetry collection, Derafš-e Kāviyān (The banner of Kaveh, 1962) was based on the story of the uprising of the blacksmith Kāveh (on his banner, see DERAFŠ-E KĀVĪĀN) that is related in the Šāh-nāma. Here the text is in Nimaic meter (on which, see FREE VERSE). The narrative freely departs from the epic tale, for example, making no mention of the real leader in the conventional account, the king and hero Ferēdūn, to whom Kāveh rallied the disaffected people and who achieves victory over the tyrant, the three-headed dragon Żaḥḥāk (see AŽDAHĀ). The book was banned soon after its release in 1962, perhaps because its invocation of ancient legend for veiled criticism of present conditions offered too close a parallel to the controversial poem by Siavash Kasra’i, Āraš-e kamāngir (Arash the archer, 1958; for the hero’s exploit, see ĀRAŠ, KAY; see also ĀRAŠ ii. In Modern Literature). Mosaddeq's work had to wait for the social upheavals that culminated in the 1979 revolution to see the light of the day again.
Mosaddeq’s second poetry collection, Ābi, ḵākestari, siyāh (Blue, gray, black, 1965), was also burdened by the advocacy of political motifs and themes:
Man agar barḵizam
to agar barḵizi
man agar benšinam
to agar benšini
če kasi barḵizad?
če kasi bā došman bestizad?
panja dar panja-ye har došman-e dun
(“Ābi, ḵākestari, siyāh,” Majmuʿa-ye ašʿār, 2007, pp. 85-86)
If I rise up,
If you rise up,
All will rise up.
If I sit
If you sit
Who will then rise up?
Who will confront the enemy?
Who will fistfight with the vile foe?
Dar rahgoḏār-e bād (On the footpath of the wind, 1969), Mosaddeq’s third poetry collection, in five parts, is colored by patriotic sentiments and political ideologies which were rife in much of the period’s literature. The collection follows a narrative line and invokes Biblical figures such as Adam and Eve, along with such mythological characters as Rostam, Sohrāb, and Afrāsīāb (Abumaḥbub, p. 107). In parts one and two, entitled Giram ke āb-e rafta be juy āyad, bā āberu-ye rafta če bāyad kard (Suppose the vanished water returns to the creek, what can be done with the vanished dignity?), and Man bā beṭālat-e pedaram hargez beyʿat nemikonam (I will never pledge allegiance to the indolence of my ancestors), he blames the previous generations for their submission to corrupt political powers and holds them responsible for the ominous outlook of Persian society in the middle decades of the 20th century. In parts three and four, Āyā če kas to rā, az mehrabān šodan-e bā man maʾyus mikonad (Who despairs your kindness to me?), and Bā ḵˇištan nešastan, dar ḵˇištan šekastan (Sitting with oneself and breaking within oneself) he conveys elegiac conviction on the impossibility of retrieving the bygone glories, while part five Ey kāš šokarān-e man, šahāmat man ku (Alas my hemlock, where is my courage), is his passionate plea to the young to rise and compensate for the obliviousness of the old. The prelude to the collection is dedicated to Ḥamid ʿEnāyat.
Mosaddeq’s poetry acquires more lyrical overtone in Az jodāʾihā (Of separations) and Sālhā-ye ṣaburi (Years of patience), each in two books, published in 1980 and 1981, respectively. The two books of Sālhā-ye ṣaburi get their titles from two ḡazals of Hafez: Češma-ye ešq (Fountain of love) from Man hamān dam ke vożu sāḵtam az češma-ye ešq / čār takbir zadam yeksara bar har če ke hast, and Ešārāt (references) from Ān kas ast ahl-e bešārat ke ešārat dānad / Nokta hā hast basi, maḥram-e asrār kojāst.
Šir-e sorḵ (Red lion, 1997), his last poetry collection, whose title is also taken from a hemistich of Hafez (Šir-e sorḵim o afʿi-e siyahim), although immersed in a deep sense of sorrow and disappointment, illustrates his unbreakable ties with the homeland (ʿAlinežād, p. 526):
Man niz čon deraḵt
Bā ḏarra ḏarra-ye in ḵākam peyvandist
Pāy-e goriz nist
Tavān-e goriz niz
(“Šir-e sorḵ,” Majmuʿa-ye ašʿār, 2007, p. 733)
I, like a tree
with every bit of this ground am tangled
no vigor to escape
no resilience either
The bilingual collection of Mosaddeq’s selected poems, translated into French by Hourieh Marvi, was published as Qulqu’un me monque in Mashhad in 2013 (FIGURE 3). Mosaddeq also authored a comprehensive introduction to Bonyād e falsafa-e siāsi dar ḡarb: az Heraclitus tā Hobbes, by Ḥamid Enāyat, Tehran, 1970.
His unpublished works include Ḡazalhā-ye Ḥāfeẓ (with Esmāʿil Ṣāremi), Majmuaʿ-ye qavānin-e madani va tejāri (with Mirqāʾemi), and Šokuh-e šeʿr-e Šahryār.
Works of Hamid Mosaddeq.
Derafš-e Kāviyān (The banner of Kāveh), 1962.
Ābi, ḵākestari, siyāh (Blue, gray, black), 1965.
Dar rahgoḏār-e bād (On the footpath of the wind), 1969.
Az jodāʾihā (Of separations), 1980.
Sālhā-ye ṣaburi (Years of patience), 1991.
Tā rahāʾi (Till freedom), 1991.
Šir-e sorḵ (Red Lion), 1997.
Majmuʿa-ye ašʿār (Poetry collection), 2007 (FIGURE 4).
Ḡazalhā-ye Saʿdi bar asās-e panj matn-e moʿtabar-e ḵaṭṭi va do nosḵa-ye mostanad-e čāpi (with Esmāʿil Ṣāremi) Tehran, 1997.
Moqadama-i bar raveš-e taḥqiq, Kerman, 1971.
Aḥmad Abumaḥbub, Dar hāy-o huy-e bād: Zendegi va sheʿr-e Ḥamid Moṣaddeq, Tehran, 2001.
Cyrus ʿAlinežād, “Dahomin sāl-e ḵāmuši-e āḵarin vaṭania-sarā,” Boḵārā 68-69, Āḏar-Esfand 1387 Š./January-March 2008, pp. 517-26.
Nāṣer Ḥariri, Darbāra-ye honar o adabiyāt: goft o šonudi bā Simin Behbehāni va Ḥamid Moṣaddeq, Babol, 1989.
ʿAbd-Allāh Ḥasanzada-Mirʿali and Sayyeda Hājar Ḥosayni Kalbādi, “Osṭura dar šeʿr-e Ḥamid Moṣaddeq,” Adabiyāt-e pārsi-e moʿaṣer 2/1, Spring-Summer 2012, pp. 49-64.
Originally Published: September 15, 2014
Last Updated: September 15, 2014Cite this entry:
Saeed Rezaei, "MOSADDEQ, HAMID," Encyclopædia Iranica, online edition, 2014, available at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/mosaddeq-hamid (accessed on 15 September 2014).