Qeysar Aminpur and the Persian Poetry of Sacred Defence
The narrative of martyrdom of Hosayn the third Shi-ite Imam, has been closely associated with the cathartic expression of grief for generations of Iranians, but in the last three or so decades the image has taken on a symbolism of national resistance against internal oppression and external aggression. The classical maqtalnāmeh, the literature that chronicles the details of deaths of martyrs, is now resurrected in new poetic outpourings known as the Poetry of Sacred Defence. This poetry celebrates the religious fighter who for the sake of a greater ideal is prepared to knowingly go to his death and emulate the actions of Imam Hosayn, that exemplar symbol of virtue and courage. This article will look at the genesis of the Poetry of Sacred Defence and explore the development of the poetry of one of its early practitioners, Qeysar Aminpur.