Ari Honarvar: Turning Persian Poetry into Art

Sun (Ari Honarvar)

As a girl, Ari studied Persian poetry and calligraphy in the magnificent historical city of Shiraz. When the Iran-Iraq war started, she moved to the U.S. — but today she paints the poems that inspired her as a child.  

Ari grew up into a striking young woman who believed that peace is every person’s birthright.  Today, she brings Iran’s ancient poets back to life — through translations and paintings that embody the Persian script itself.

I followed my beloved’s shadow
and it took me to the sun
– Rumi 

The work of Iran’s greatest poets– including the now well-known Rumi (1207-1273) and the less well-known (but equally inspiring) Hafez (1325-1389)– became an important influence in Ari’s life.  Her work helps remind people of Iran’s contribution to world heritage, even as politics get in the way of communication and travel. In each painting, words from the poem itself are captured in an image using Persian calligraphy.

Oh my heart, leave your machinations
Become mad, become mad…
Find yourself in the heart of the flame
Be the moth, be the moth

Economic and domestic conditions in parts of Iran prevent many young women from enjoying the same opportunity that Ari had to develop herself– so a portion of the proceeds from her paintings and artwork is donated to the education of impoverished young girls in Shiraz, her hometown in Iran.  Someday, perhaps, we will visit the city that Rumi wrote about.

Read more Persian poetry or watch Tony Wheeler describe the city of Shiraz.
See more of Ari’s beautiful art at her website, Rumi With A View, or join the Facebook group for updates.
Order greeting cards or clothing with Ari’s artwork.

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