Ahmad Shamlou (December 12, 1925 – July 24, 2000) was a contemporary Persian poet, writer, journalist and translator. He also wrote fiction and screenplays, contributing to children’s literature, and journalism. He is also known under his pen name A. Bamdad.
Ahmad Shamlou has published more than seventy books: 16 of which is poetry, 5 anthologies of poetry; 5 including various novels, short stories & screenplays, 9 children’s literature, 9 translations of poetry into Persian, 21 novels translated into Persian, 5 collections of essays, lectures and interviews, 10 volumes (to date) of The Book Of Alley. Shamlou was arguably the most influential poet of modern Iran.
I love poem and literature like most artists. For me he was the person who opened the doors of magical world of stories. From my childhood he has influenced me in many ways by his short stories, poem and his life style, showing me how I can in fact achieve more than I think.
The first foreign story I have read was The Little Prince from Antuan Sent Exupery, translated and recorded by Shamlo’s voice. From my childhood I used to listen to his voice before I sleep and then later reading stories. His voice reminds me my father voice when he was singing lullaby for me. Since his writings and stories opened the doors to another colourful worlds for me, I have decided to portrait him with different colours to reflect that. Each colour is a symbol of a word, a story which influence my life and thousand of Iranians, a symbol of discovering unknown lands.
In one of documentary movies about Shamlou, he maintains: “Some nights I woke up and start writing, it’s like someone telling me what to write, and I just write in piece of paper, the next morning when I see my writing I find out about dreaming that poem.”
I know the feeling, I woke up myself in middle of night, thinking about an idea, illustration. Then I sketched and write on anything I can find close by. I believe for an artist, you can get inspired by anything. Artist’s mind is free like a bird, and artist’s hand is like the roots of a tree.
I plant my hands, they’ll grow, I know.