Shortly after August 1941 with the easing of censorship on the press, the literati took full advantage to better inform their milieu. Many new magazines and literary periodicals emerged and the first wave of post-Yūshij poetry was published. These poems, more often than not, represented a kind of languid and otiose romanticism,1 of which the early poetry of Ahmad Shamlu is symptomatic. After the August 1953 coup, romanticism in poetry and poetics was jettisoned for social activism. Shamlu’s poems are “reflexive,” real time images of his milieu. For him, poetry is the child of necessity, and as such it is not prescribed by the poet but by his surroundings. However, the poet’s flighty and ravenous need for freedom always remained unfulfilled. The dialectic of desire and deferral is ever so present. This article examines the inner structure of Shamlu’s poetry by offering a narratological reading of some of his poems, à la Algirdas Julius Greimas.

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