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This book is the first extensive research on the role of poetry during the Iranian Revolution (1979) and the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988). How can poetry, especially peaceful medieval Sufi poems, be applied to exalt violence, to present death as martyrdom, and to process war traumas? Examining poetry by both Islamic revolutionary and established dissident poets, it demonstrates how poetry spurs people to action, even leading them to sacrifice their lives. The book's originality lies in fresh analyses of how themes such as martyrdom and violence, and mystical themes such as love and wine, are integrated in a vehemently political context, while showing how Shiite ritual such as the pilgrimage to Mecca clash with Saudi Wahhabi appreciations. A distinguishing quality of the book is its examination of how martyrdom was instilled in the minds of Iranians through poetry, employing Sufi themes, motifs and doctrines to justify death. Such inculcation proved effective in mobilising people to the front, ready to sacrifice their lives. As such, the book is a must for readers interested in Iranian culture and history, in Sufi poetry, in martyrdom and war poetry. Those involved with Middle Eastern Studies, Iranian Studies, Literary Studies, Political Philosophy and Religious Studies will benefit from this book.
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