Persian Language and Culture Winter Program 2021: Music and Meaning in Persian Poetry
January 18 – February 5, 2021
2 hours per day, times TBD
Mejlis Institute opens its 2021 program with an invitation to a winter majles, a meeting place for lovers of Persian poetry and those who wish to learn to appreciate its beauty. Working with a large selection of both classical and modern verse, participants will practice in analyzing poems with attention to historical context, lexicology and etymology of individual words, and the poems’ structural composition. Special consideration will also be given to musical aspects of poetry, and participants will learn not only to recite poetry with proper rhythms and intonations but also to understand how these elements may help in interpreting the meaning of a poem. The course will meet for three weeks, Monday through Friday, for two hours each day. The course is aimed at students who have already attained advanced level of Persian, and it will therefore be conducted primarily in Persian. The syllabus will include a number of key figures of Persian poetic tradition such as Ferdowsi, Khayyam, Nizami, and ‘Attar, but also accommodate for participants’ specific interests. Rather than following a strict chronological or thematic order, the course will take inspiration from mosha’ere, a traditional parlor game, in which each poem recited by a player inspires the next one. Since the classes will be held online and participants will join from different time zones, the meeting times will be determined after the final class list is formed.
Fees and deadlines
Armenia, the home of Mejlis Institute, has recently become home to thousands of refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh, displaced by the atrocities of the recent war. 100% of the funds collected through this program will be donated to a fundraiser that supports families that have lost their homes, possessions and livelihoods. The participation fee is $150 though those participants who can afford to contribute larger donations are encouraged to do so. Applicants who are strongly motivated to participate in the program but might not have financial means to pay the program fees should contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as they fill out the application form.
The deadline to apply is December 31, 2020. Tuition fees must be paid through an international bank transfer by January 15, 2021.
Mehdi Hesamizadeh is a poet and composer, and in his teaching he approaches poetry as a living tradition and explores the relationship between music and the spoken word. While now based in Armenia, he is a native of Khorasan, and he is deeply interested in history of music of premodern Iran as well connections between musical traditions of different regions of the Near East and the Mediterranean.