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The Silent Revolution of Capacious Poetic Form: Yahdollah Royai and his Espacementalist Poetry (She’r-e Hajmgerā)
What makes a poem ‘revolutionary’? On the surface, it seems simple: a poem that responds to political events such as revolts, movements, and revolutions. But, as this presentation will demonstrate, a poem can simmer with revolutionary without delivering an overtly political message through a poet’s deliberately radical deployment of technical features, such as structure, style, and syntax. Yadollah Royai (1932-2022), the founder of “Espacementalist Poetry” (She’r-e Hajmgerā), is one such poet who revolutionized medieval tropes of Persian mysticism through the subversion of Persian poetic forms. In his brilliantly evocative style, playing with linguistic ruptures, we see how a poem can become a multidimensional space where the poet both exists within - and moves beyond - multivalent representations of reality, inviting us to ask: Can poetry in itself be revolutionary? Reading between the lines in this way is essential to understanding the inextricable links between poetry and revolution as both an internalized, and externalized, process.
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