News ID: 198506
Publish Date: 11 March 2009 - 12:09
Writing stories and saying poems for children is along with a kind of ascetic activity and spiritual struggle; it is a very hard ascetic work; but if this period of ascetic works passes appropriately it will change into a kind of virtue. And this virtue will finally lead true poets, writers, picture drawers and artist to deliverance. This virtue and moving towards deliverance is doubtlessly rooted in living in the world of children and becoming close to innocence of children and it is also rooted in the struggles and battles that continue in adult thought of the writer or poet in contact with this innocence of children.

Writing stories and saying poems for children is along with a kind of ascetic activity and spiritual struggle; it is a very hard ascetic work; but if this period of ascetic works passes appropriately it will change into a kind of virtue. And this virtue will finally lead true poets, writers, picture drawers and artist to deliverance. This virtue and moving towards deliverance is doubtlessly rooted in living in the world of children and becoming close to innocence of children and it is also rooted in the struggles and battles that continue in adult thought of the writer or poet in contact with this innocence of children.

These struggles are along with bitter experiences. And it is obvious that living in such situation –standing up from the adult world and sitting on the land of childish innocence and returning to one’s ego- is very hard and consuming.
It is not easily possible to achieve these spiritual insights and discoveries which are gained through these journeys by the poet or writer. That is why only a small number of people are successful in the field of children and teenagers literature and they can communicate with their audiences emotionally and speak from their language and express their spiritual and physical needs.
There is however a bitter reality too. And it goes back to the fact that any writer, poet of artist after spending a life time on working for children, he/she may reach to the bitter and unfavorable result that all his/her works have been useless and mistakes. His works might not have been mistakes; but the bitterness of experiencing these going and comings imposes such feelings to him/her. There are however people that feel this way and their ways have been truly wrong. It occurs when the writer of poet has not been able to achieve the promised deliverance and loses his faith in his/her work.
Poets and writers who write for children and teenagers are not like writers and poets who write for adults. The second group of writers and poets face with common and adult audiences with interior and exterior experiences, the people that have seen the world and have lots of experiences.
Audiences, poets and writers change as the generations change. Our memories and works may however remain on minds of them for years. It is mostly along with a kind of nostalgic sense, a nostalgic sense that they have about their childhood and innocent behaviors of childhood and our works remind them of those lost moments. Yes, it is possible that our audiences sometimes remind of us and our works when they become adults. But this is not the problem; the main problem is the fact that needs of children and teenagers change in every generation. And in addition to appearance of new needs, the view of new audiences improve year by year.
Doubtlessly, the view of a 10 year old child of today is different with the view of a 10 year child in 20 years go. And the view of a 10 year old child who lived 10 years ago is different with the view of a child who lived 50 years ago.
Now the question is if writers and poets can also change themselves every 10 years to 10 years that include one generation? And are they able to move in step with children and teenagers of the new generation and the new world?
To continue this discussion, I want to refer to a short story but interesting story written by Jabran Khalil Jabran. It may help us understand this issue:
“There were two great knowledgeable people. One was believer to God and the other one was unbeliever. Both of them had studied lots of books and had written many books too. And the interesting point is that they were friends despite they were in complete contrast as far as their way of thinking was concerned. They spoke and discussed with each other every day. Each of them spoke about his personal beliefs for the other one. And both of them made efforts to persuade the other one to accept his religion and way of thinking. They have lived this way for many years. One night they decided to discuss all the night till morning and persuade each other in any possible way. People were interested in knowing which of them would win this contest of thinking. That long night passed and early in the morning people saw that the believer man was putting on fire his books and the unbeliever man was praying God and asking for forgiveness of God. Both of those knowledgeable people had been successful to persuade the other one and invite the other one to their own religion at that night; but this work had been done with the price of losing their own beliefs.”?
Sometimes some of us –writers and poets- are like these two professors in this short story. We defend a kind of thought that we may be the first person who denies that kind of thought 10 years later. The question is if it is a mistake? If it is a mistake is the work of a writer or poet who has been insisting on his/her beliefs since the beginning of his/her work for many years (For instance for 30 years) an appropriate work? Naturally, we should say that such a person has not changed even a little during last 30 years. And his thoughts have not grown and improved during all these years; but there is another half too. There may be poets and writers who have been insisting on the principles of their works sine beginning of their works for many years; but in some cases they exit their principles. They accept the mistake they have made in past and they correct and improve. Due to experiences gained in many years, they reach to the point that they can easily distinguish between right and wrong or bad and good. They are even able to give new opinions about their works, the opinions which are gained through experiences rather than blind understanding and learning form others’ works.
By passing the time, many of ideas presented by psychologists such as Piaget and Freud and other are questioned. And the new ideas and theories appear in the field of child psychology.
By mentioning all these, I aimed at saying the fact that I said some poems for children during the war. Despite being weak, average or good, those poems were welcomed and liked by audiences at that time.
Now I have come to the result that basically, poem is not a very suitable form to talk about war for children. Besides, war is not a suitable subject for infants. Here I mean school and pre school children by the word “Infant”?. Teenagers are categorized in another group.
Now there are two questions that why I have some to this result.
During recent years, more attention has been paid to the literature of children, infant and pre school children in particular. And we can now say that we own literature of infants, children and teenagers in Iran. In far past, we were used to call all readable things for teenagers, children and infant and even young people (Teenagers aged between 15 to 18 years old) as child literature. During recent year, a large group of people who are not skilled in this field (As Nima, the famous poet says) have pointed the most critical and the most difficult part of child literature; it means the age group of children educating at first years of primary school. That is while the writer requires a lot of experiences and knowledge in this regard in order to work for such age groups. The houses that these unskilled people make for children and infants are made of straw and they are flimsy and weak and do not locate the audiences in a safe place and even leave them defenseless in exposure to any kinds of dangers.
Such builders of houses (Unskilled people) think that they can use any words in poems and stories for this age group; the words that children know and they have heard and they know their apparent meanings. Doubtlessly, children educating at first years of primary schools or even pre school children (For example children at the age of 4, 5 or 6) have heard the word “War”? and they know this word. They have heard the word “Battle Field”? too. They have also heard the word “Basiji”? (Volunteer people who went to battle fields). They have heard words such as “Love”?, “peace”?, “Homeland”? and many other words. They have heard these words from their fathers and mothers or their family members and even from TV cartoons. They are familiar with these words; but are they really familiar with the meaning and concept of these words? Is familiarity with the appearance of a word the reason for understanding that word by children?
As for training and teaching to children, Tolstoy has said the following in his writings: “Most of times, children face problems in learning a new word. And their problem is not related to the appearance of the word; but it is related to the meaning of that word.”? 1
Wygotski, the thinker and linguist has written in parts of his famous book under the title of “Thought and Language”? as follows:
“We can not transfer special thoughts to children, even if they are familiar with required words.”? 2
Hence, the child is merely familiar with the appearance of a word and does not understand its deep and inner meaning by the time that word has not changed into an inner concept and meaning for the child. In cases that children understand little some of words and adjectives, they actually understand the relative meaning of that particular word in an indirect way.

For instance, when we say the word “Heat”?, the child imagines on his mind objects such as heater, iron, light or the sun in order to understand the meaning of “Heat”?. Or when the child hears the word “Love”?, he evaluates and compares this word with touchable and concrete appearances of this word such as mother’s love or kindness of family and friends. That is while the child does not understand the inner meaning of “Love”? at all; but at the same time he is familiar with the appearance of the word “Love”?. And it is because the child has not had any inner experiences in this respect and about this word. “War”? is one of these words. And the compound phrase of “Sacred Defense”? is more difficult than “War”? for the child. The meaning of “Sacred Defense”? is much more difficult for the child to understand.
To some extent, the child can understand the meaning of “War”? on his mind by imagining scenes of war films; but the child does not have any concrete and touchable appearance for “Sacred Defense”? in order to understand this compound phrase by comparing these touchable appearances. Even the single word “Sacred”? and the single word “Defense”? are very hard to understand by little children. Now if we combine these two words with each other understanding the meaning becomes much more difficult. During war, children has an inner experience about the word “War”? like the adults and next to the adults; because they were actually involved in war and they were victims of war while they did not want it. That is why most of paintings of children were about war at that time; because the concept of war had occupied a major part on minds of children. The war appeared even in their games too. The games such as “War”? Game, “Battle Field”? Game, and “Saddam”? Game were prevalent among children at that period of time. That was why they understood well the poems said about war by me or other poets. But do the children who live nowadays understand these poems too? If they understand, do they understand as well as the children who lived during war? The answer is “No”? to this question.
Nowadays children think about war scenes they have seen on TV or in war films and war cartoons when they hear the Word “War”?. They are not able to really understand the depth of war disaster, a disaster which its major spiritual and physical victims are always children.
We should not neglect one important point too. And that is the fact that many of opinions and theories presented about children by psychologists such as Piaget and Freud are questioned nowadays. And many of them have been wrong. Or they have been correct but in particular situations and special locations. For instance, many of theories presented by Piaget might be correct about the children that have been tested by him; but these theories are not correct for all children in all times and places.
Doubtlessly, the understanding of a 5 year old Palestinian child or Lebanese, Iraqi and Afghan child is completely different with the understanding of a 5 years old British, American, Saudi Arabian or French child about the Word “War”?. Hence, we should say poems and write stories for children with such important and difficult subject as “War”? considering time and location situations as well as capabilities of children. That is while most of people who currently write about war –they mostly feel it is their religious and patriotic duty to talk about war- do not have required knowledge and information in this respect. They are not familiar with the world of children at all. And in some cases they do not even required information about the bases of poetry and story. They do not know at all that writing and saying poems for infants and children educating at the first years of primary school is an unnecessary work to some extend; because this subject is not understandable for this age group of children at all. I mean “Sacred defense values”? by the word “War”? in this part of the article. And unfortunately, some of the governmental officials and publishers exacerbate this problem and insist that sacred defense values should be necessarily explained to infants. That is while they do not have any expert reasons for this action. They neglect the fact that first, this work can be done for children who educate at final years of primary schools and older than them. And secondly, if it is required to do this way, this job should be done by experts and those who are skilled for this age group of audiences. Not any one who thinks writing stories and saying poems are easy for infant can do this. The only reason they give is the fact that when they read their poems for infants, they liked them and memorized those poems. They neglect the fact that some parrots are also able to act like this. They neglect the fact that if children welcomed those poems and memorized them it is not the reason they have understood the subject of those poems.
I ask such people this question: Can a civil engineer treat a child who is sick and needs the help of a doctor? Or can a pediatric doctor sew clothes for children and do the job of tailors and dress makers? If the answer to these two questions is “No”?, how do such people allow themselves to test their destructive written works on innocent and defenseless children and then the writers themselves come to the result that it was good.
Please pay attention to the initial part of a poetry book about war which is written for children educating at first years of primary school and also pre school children:
“Baharak of our story had sat in the classroom (Baharak is the name of girl)
One photo frame of memories had broken in her sobbing
The teacher spoke about the spring
That would come one day
And fights with dirt
The teacher spoke about flowers and green lands 3
Now pay attention to the picturing of “Photo frame of memory”? and “Breaking the sobbing”? in this poem. Do poor little children understand the main meaning that the poet wanted to transfer to audience? They are merely familiar with the appearance of these pictures and words. In the second verse “The teacher spoke about the spring that would come one day”? it seems that the poet means Imam Zaman (The 12th imam of Shiite that will appear one day to save people of the world). But this way of expressing the meanings of poet is complicated and ambiguous even for ma as an adult person who is a poet too.
In the next verse we read “And fights with dirt”?. We know that “Dirt”? does not have any meaning on mind of a child (Even a 10 year old child). It mostly means being dirty, rubbish and microbe. It is while the poet means “Cruelty”? and “Corruption”? by the Word “Dirt”?. And Imam Zaman will fight with cruelty and corruption.
Now please pay attention to these verses of a poetry book said about war for children at the age of primary school:
The lion man of battle fields (Lion man is the translation of the word shirmard. And it is said to a very brave person in Persian)
That blossom of hope
He was finally martyred
By a mortar shell in an attack 4
Apart from weak expression in this poem and being full of mottos and also the problem in rhythm in the second verse, what is the understanding of a primary school child about the compound phrase of “Shirmard”? (Lion man)? Or what does this child understand from the phrase “Blossoms of hope”??
Unfortunately giving mottos is one of big damages of collections of poems with the subject of war. They do not have favorable effect on the audience and at the same time they are neutral books which teach bad things in some cases too. The least aspect of teaching bad things is the fact that they show values of sacred defense weak; it means that weakly defending the values will automatically makes these values worthless. I apologize to say that many of officials who are meddlers and like to give opinions about the literature of infants and children think wrongly when they believe the more a book is full of mottos, the more it is influential in transferring values of sacred defense to the future generations. It is actually rooted in lack of knowledge and information of these officials, governmental publishers and also the non governmental publishers which are supported by the government.
Goethe, the German poet and philosopher has said a very beautiful sentence which can be true about any valuable thing. He has said: “The language of science conceals its essence.”?
This valuable sentence of Goethe is absolutely true. Goethe was one of the lovers and translators of Hafez poems.
Einstein who has developed the theory of relativity has said some where as follows: “When scientists and thinkers write articles about this theory of mine with a complicated scientific language in order that ordinary people become familiar with this theory, I myself do not understand what they mean. Now what do we expect from ordinary readers of these articles?”?
This is the “Einstein”? who has easily expressed his theory with two or three childish and common examples such that even children are able to understand it. I mentioned these points in order to reach to the important point that we can not say poems and write stories about battle field and war with the language of combatants and those who had been in battle fields and experienced that atmosphere; because in this case the written work becomes wither full of mottos or unbelievable. There may be a story in which the war scenes are narrated by an Iraqi soldier or a person who does not believe in values of war and has gone to battle field accidentally. And in this story judgment is done by the audiences. In such a story we may be able to talk about war in a better and easier way. As an example I can refer to the Film “Leyli Is with Me”?. This film was relatively successful.
We can not truly say poems and write stories about Islamic Revolution and war with the language of motto.
Mottos were more influential than any poems at that particular time; but they were good for that particular time. And they are expired now.
It is the same thing about “Ashoura”? too. Most of books which are written about Imam Hossein (The third imam of Shiite who was martyred on Ashoura) and other imams of Shiite decrease believability of stories and effectiveness in these books due to unsuitable language of the subject (I refer to the mentioned scientific language). We should think and find the special language of war. Here I refer to a poem said by dear “Molavi”? (The famous Iranian poet whose body is buried in Turkey):
“It is better that the secret of beloved ones
Are said in speeches of others”?
Now please pay attention to these pieces of poems selected from poetry collections said by Kazem Mazeenani for teenagers and children:

“The sky has a hole like father’s blanket
Father wants to cry
I hear a sound, I say: it is the sound of a cow
Father says: No it is the sound of a war ship
City, enemy, the fire of destroyed houses
My mother groaned: Ah this Abadan (Abadan is the name of the city near the border and it was under attacked and it was destroyed during war)
One air plane flew towards the refinery
My father says: The Army is on the way
The grandma has crouched in a corner like a hen
She had dyed her hair red with henna
Father says: We go from this city
Then a cigarette grows on his lip
The wall clock is afraid like us
Its hands have stuck on the Number 2”? 5
This book has been apparently said for the age group of “B”?. It means that the poems are said for children at primary school, those who are at final years of primary school. The poet has been able to choose a relatively suitable language for expressing the subject and speaking about war with indirect and sometimes poetic pictures; but in many cases, the mind of the poet is floating between teenager imaginations and childish imaginations. The look and language is childish when the poet says: “The wall clock is afraid like us”?. But when he says: “The sky has a hole like father’s blanket. Father wants to cry”? or when he says: “Father says: We go from this city. Then a cigarette grows on his lip”?, the audience of the poet is mostly teenagers and the children at guidance school.
Despite all these, the book is an acceptable and good book. This poet has had lots of experiences in saying poems for teenagers and less experience in saying poems for children. Now can he dare to say poems about war for infants too? I believe it is almost impossible. If he dares to do this, he will doubtlessly move with a planned program and thought. Now if some poets do not have any suitable experiences in saying poems for children and teenagers, how do they allow themselves to say poems for infants and primary school children with such a difficult subject as war? The subject of war even as a story is itself complicated and heavy for infants. And if this subject is used by poets and writers who are not familiar with the world of children God knows what it will look like?
Please pay attention to these pieces from a collection of poems said for children:
I have seen you like a white jasmine
I have seen your kindness like the martyred dad
I have seen your hands in hands of “Nassim”?
I have seen your tears, sympathy for Orphan”?6
Please read these pieces of poems said by an almost famous poet. This poet has said good poems for teenagers; but when this poet says poems for infants, the result is not satisfactory at all:
Mommy says that dear dad
One year in many years ago
Went to fight with evil
While carrying a gun on his shoulder
He has gone to fight with night
And shoots his feet
And when the evil comes close
Your dad wrestles with the evil”? 7
In this poem, there is the language of motto too; but since the poet is familiar with the world of children, he sometimes pictures childish scenes; but it does not mean that children understand them.
“Fighting with night”? is a completely adult thought; but considering “Feet”? for “Night”? is a completely childish imagination and when these two adult and childish senses come next to each other, the result is a bad work. “Wrestling with night”? is also a childish concept; but….
Fortunately, the books that were published with the subject of poetry of war in the Year 1386 were a little better compared to the poetry books with the subject of war published during previous years. And there are four or five acceptable books among the large number of weak books which were published just for the book market. During past years, we could not even find these four or five good books. I hope that one day our poets and writers can present valuable works for teenagers, children and infants in particular. God willing!
Jafar Ebrahimi “Shahed”?
Ramezan 14th, 1387
1: Quoting the Book “Thought and Time”?, Written by Wygotski, Translated by Behrouz Azb Daftari, Nima (NIA) Publication, Tabriz
2: The same reference
3: “Where are you Baharak?”?, Published with the support of “Foundation for Preservation of Monuments and Dissemination of Values of Sacred Defense”? of Fars Province
4: “Blossom of Martyr”? Published by “Jihad Publication of Khoozestan”?
5: 7: 25 O’clock, Written by Mohammad Kazem Mazeenani – Published by “Shahed Publication”?
6: “Defense and Martyrdom”?, Written by Mohammad Kazem Mazeenani – Published by “Shahed Publication”?
7: “I Love Dad”?, Written by Hadi Khoorshahian, Published by “Negarin Publication”?
Writer: Jafar Ebrahimi “Shahed”?

Writing stories and saying poems for children is along with a kind of ascetic activity and spiritual struggle; it is a very hard ascetic work; but if this period of ascetic works passes appropriately it will change into a kind of virtue. And this virtue will finally lead true poets, writers, picture drawers and artist to deliverance. This virtue and moving towards deliverance is doubtlessly rooted in living in the world of children and becoming close to innocence of children and it is also rooted in the struggles and battles that continue in adult thought of the writer or poet in contact with this innocence of children. These struggles are along with bitter experiences. And it is obvious that living in such situation –standing up from the adult world and sitting on the land of childish innocence and returning to one’s ego- is very hard and consuming. It is not easily possible to achieve these spiritual insights and discoveries which are gained through these journeys by the poet or writer. That is why only a small number of people are successful in the field of children and teenagers literature and they can communicate with their audiences emotionally and speak from their language and express their spiritual and physical needs. There is however a bitter reality too. And it goes back to the fact that any writer, poet of artist after spending a life time on working for children, he/she may reach to the bitter and unfavorable result that all his/her works have been useless and mistakes. His works might not have been mistakes; but the bitterness of experiencing these going and comings imposes such feelings to him/her. There are however people that feel this way and their ways have been truly wrong. It occurs when the writer of poet has not been able to achieve the promised deliverance and loses his faith in his/her work. Poets and writers who write for children and teenagers are not like writers and poets who write for adults. The second group of writers and poets face with common and adult audiences with interior and exterior experiences, the people that have seen the world and have lots of experiences. Audiences, poets and writers change as the generations change. Our memories and works may however remain on minds of them for years. It is mostly along with a kind of nostalgic sense, a nostalgic sense that they have about their childhood and innocent behaviors of childhood and our works remind them of those lost moments. Yes, it is possible that our audiences sometimes remind of us and our works when they become adults. But this is not the problem; the main problem is the fact that needs of children and teenagers change in every generation. And in addition to appearance of new needs, the view of new audiences improve year by year. Doubtlessly, the view of a 10 year old child of today is different with the view of a 10 year child in 20 years go. And the view of a 10 year old child who lived 10 years ago is different with the view of a child who lived 50 years ago. Now the question is if writers and poets can also change themselves every 10 years to 10 years that include one generation? And are they able to move in step with children and teenagers of the new generation and the new world? To continue this discussion, I want to refer to a short story but interesting story written by Jabran Khalil Jabran. It may help us understand this issue: “There were two great knowledgeable people. One was believer to God and the other one was unbeliever. Both of them had studied lots of books and had written many books too. And the interesting point is that they were friends despite they were in complete contrast as far as their way of thinking was concerned. They spoke and discussed with each other every day. Each of them spoke about his personal beliefs for the other one. And both of them made efforts to persuade the other one to accept his religion and way of thinking. They have lived this way for many years. One night they decided to discuss all the night till morning and persuade each other in any possible way. People were interested in knowing which of them would win this contest of thinking. That long night passed and early in the morning people saw that the believer man was putting on fire his books and the unbeliever man was praying God and asking for forgiveness of God. Both of those knowledgeable people had been successful to persuade the other one and invite the other one to their own religion at that night; but this work had been done with the price of losing their own beliefs.”? Sometimes some of us –writers and poets- are like these two professors in this short story. We defend a kind of thought that we may be the first person who denies that kind of thought 10 years later. The question is if it is a mistake? If it is a mistake is the work of a writer or poet who has been insisting on his/her beliefs since the beginning of his/her work for many years (For instance for 30 years) an appropriate work? Naturally, we should say that such a person has not changed even a little during last 30 years. And his thoughts have not grown and improved during all these years; but there is another half too. There may be poets and writers who have been insisting on the principles of their works sine beginning of their works for many years; but in some cases they exit their principles. They accept the mistake they have made in past and they correct and improve. Due to experiences gained in many years, they reach to the point that they can easily distinguish between right and wrong or bad and good. They are even able to give new opinions about their works, the opinions which are gained through experiences rather than blind understanding and learning form others’ works. By passing the time, many of ideas presented by psychologists such as Piaget and Freud and other are questioned. And the new ideas and theories appear in the field of child psychology. By mentioning all these, I aimed at saying the fact that I said some poems for children during the war. Despite being weak, average or good, those poems were welcomed and liked by audiences at that time. Now I have come to the result that basically, poem is not a very suitable form to talk about war for children. Besides, war is not a suitable subject for infants. Here I mean school and pre school children by the word “Infant”?. Teenagers are categorized in another group. Now there are two questions that why I have some to this result. During recent years, more attention has been paid to the literature of children, infant and pre school children in particular. And we can now say that we own literature of infants, children and teenagers in Iran. In far past, we were used to call all readable things for teenagers, children and infant and even young people (Teenagers aged between 15 to 18 years old) as child literature. During recent year, a large group of people who are not skilled in this field (As Nima, the famous poet says) have pointed the most critical and the most difficult part of child literature; it means the age group of children educating at first years of primary school. That is while the writer requires a lot of experiences and knowledge in this regard in order to work for such age groups. The houses that these unskilled people make for children and infants are made of straw and they are flimsy and weak and do not locate the audiences in a safe place and even leave them defenseless in exposure to any kinds of dangers. Such builders of houses (Unskilled people) think that they can use any words in poems and stories for this age group; the words that children know and they have heard and they know their apparent meanings. Doubtlessly, children educating at first years of primary schools or even pre school children (For example children at the age of 4, 5 or 6) have heard the word “War”? and they know this word. They have heard the word “Battle Field”? too. They have also heard the word “Basiji”? (Volunteer people who went to battle fields). They have heard words such as “Love”?, “peace”?, “Homeland”? and many other words. They have heard these words from their fathers and mothers or their family members and even from TV cartoons. They are familiar with these words; but are they really familiar with the meaning and concept of these words? Is familiarity with the appearance of a word the reason for understanding that word by children? As for training and teaching to children, Tolstoy has said the following in his writings: “Most of times, children face problems in learning a new word. And their problem is not related to the appearance of the word; but it is related to the meaning of that word.”? 1 Wygotski, the thinker and linguist has written in parts of his famous book under the title of “Thought and Language”? as follows: “We can not transfer special thoughts to children, even if they are familiar with required words.”? 2 Hence, the child is merely familiar with the appearance of a word and does not understand its deep and inner meaning by the time that word has not changed into an inner concept and meaning for the child. In cases that children understand little some of words and adjectives, they actually understand the relative meaning of that particular word in an indirect way. For instance, when we say the word “Heat”?, the child imagines on his mind objects such as heater, iron, light or the sun in order to understand the meaning of “Heat”?. Or when the child hears the word “Love”?, he evaluates and compares this word with touchable and concrete appearances of this word such as mother’s love or kindness of family and friends. That is while the child does not understand the inner meaning of “Love”? at all; but at the same time he is familiar with the appearance of the word “Love”?. And it is because the child has not had any inner experiences in this respect and about this word. “War”? is one of these words. And the compound phrase of “Sacred Defense”? is more difficult than “War”? for the child. The meaning of “Sacred Defense”? is much more difficult for the child to understand. To some extent, the child can understand the meaning of “War”? on his mind by imagining scenes of war films; but the child does not have any concrete and touchable appearance for “Sacred Defense”? in order to understand this compound phrase by comparing these touchable appearances. Even the single word “Sacred”? and the single word “Defense”? are very hard to understand by little children. Now if we combine these two words with each other understanding the meaning becomes much more difficult. During war, children has an inner experience about the word “War”? like the adults and next to the adults; because they were actually involved in war and they were victims of war while they did not want it. That is why most of paintings of children were about war at that time; because the concept of war had occupied a major part on minds of children. The war appeared even in their games too. The games such as “War”? Game, “Battle Field”? Game, and “Saddam”? Game were prevalent among children at that period of time. That was why they understood well the poems said about war by me or other poets. But do the children who live nowadays understand these poems too? If they understand, do they understand as well as the children who lived during war? The answer is “No”? to this question. Nowadays children think about war scenes they have seen on TV or in war films and war cartoons when they hear the Word “War”?. They are not able to really understand the depth of war disaster, a disaster which its major spiritual and physical victims are always children. We should not neglect one important point too. And that is the fact that many of opinions and theories presented about children by psychologists such as Piaget and Freud are questioned nowadays. And many of them have been wrong. Or they have been correct but in particular situations and special locations. For instance, many of theories presented by Piaget might be correct about the children that have been tested by him; but these theories are not correct for all children in all times and places. Doubtlessly, the understanding of a 5 year old Palestinian child or Lebanese, Iraqi and Afghan child is completely different with the understanding of a 5 years old British, American, Saudi Arabian or French child about the Word “War”?. Hence, we should say poems and write stories for children with such important and difficult subject as “War”? considering time and location situations as well as capabilities of children. That is while most of people who currently write about war –they mostly feel it is their religious and patriotic duty to talk about war- do not have required knowledge and information in this respect. They are not familiar with the world of children at all. And in some cases they do not even required information about the bases of poetry and story. They do not know at all that writing and saying poems for infants and children educating at the first years of primary school is an unnecessary work to some extend; because this subject is not understandable for this age group of children at all. I mean “Sacred defense values”? by the word “War”? in this part of the article. And unfortunately, some of the governmental officials and publishers exacerbate this problem and insist that sacred defense values should be necessarily explained to infants. That is while they do not have any expert reasons for this action. They neglect the fact that first, this work can be done for children who educate at final years of primary schools and older than them. And secondly, if it is required to do this way, this job should be done by experts and those who are skilled for this age group of audiences. Not any one who thinks writing stories and saying poems are easy for infant can do this. The only reason they give is the fact that when they read their poems for infants, they liked them and memorized those poems. They neglect the fact that some parrots are also able to act like this. They neglect the fact that if children welcomed those poems and memorized them it is not the reason they have understood the subject of those poems. I ask such people this question: Can a civil engineer treat a child who is sick and needs the help of a doctor? Or can a pediatric doctor sew clothes for children and do the job of tailors and dress makers? If the answer to these two questions is “No”?, how do such people allow themselves to test their destructive written works on innocent and defenseless children and then the writers themselves come to the result that it was good. Please pay attention to the initial part of a poetry book about war which is written for children educating at first years of primary school and also pre school children: “Baharak of our story had sat in the classroom (Baharak is the name of girl) One photo frame of memories had broken in her sobbing The teacher spoke about the spring That would come one day And fights with dirt The teacher spoke about flowers and green lands 3 Now pay attention to the picturing of “Photo frame of memory”? and “Breaking the sobbing”? in this poem. Do poor little children understand the main meaning that the poet wanted to transfer to audience? They are merely familiar with the appearance of these pictures and words. In the second verse “The teacher spoke about the spring that would come one day”? it seems that the poet means Imam Zaman (The 12th imam of Shiite that will appear one day to save people of the world). But this way of expressing the meanings of poet is complicated and ambiguous even for ma as an adult person who is a poet too. In the next verse we read “And fights with dirt”?. We know that “Dirt”? does not have any meaning on mind of a child (Even a 10 year old child). It mostly means being dirty, rubbish and microbe. It is while the poet means “Cruelty”? and “Corruption”? by the Word “Dirt”?. And Imam Zaman will fight with cruelty and corruption. Now please pay attention to these verses of a poetry book said about war for children at the age of primary school: The lion man of battle fields (Lion man is the translation of the word shirmard. And it is said to a very brave person in Persian) That blossom of hope He was finally martyred By a mortar shell in an attack 4 Apart from weak expression in this poem and being full of mottos and also the problem in rhythm in the second verse, what is the understanding of a primary school child about the compound phrase of “Shirmard”? (Lion man)? Or what does this child understand from the phrase “Blossoms of hope”?? Unfortunately giving mottos is one of big damages of collections of poems with the subject of war. They do not have favorable effect on the audience and at the same time they are neutral books which teach bad things in some cases too. The least aspect of teaching bad things is the fact that they show values of sacred defense weak; it means that weakly defending the values will automatically makes these values worthless. I apologize to say that many of officials who are meddlers and like to give opinions about the literature of infants and children think wrongly when they believe the more a book is full of mottos, the more it is influential in transferring values of sacred defense to the future generations. It is actually rooted in lack of knowledge and information of these officials, governmental publishers and also the non governmental publishers which are supported by the government. Goethe, the German poet and philosopher has said a very beautiful sentence which can be true about any valuable thing. He has said: “The language of science conceals its essence.”? This valuable sentence of Goethe is absolutely true. Goethe was one of the lovers and translators of Hafez poems. Einstein who has developed the theory of relativity has said some where as follows: “When scientists and thinkers write articles about this theory of mine with a complicated scientific language in order that ordinary people become familiar with this theory, I myself do not understand what they mean. Now what do we expect from ordinary readers of these articles?”? This is the “Einstein”? who has easily expressed his theory with two or three childish and common examples such that even children are able to understand it. I mentioned these points in order to reach to the important point that we can not say poems and write stories about battle field and war with the language of combatants and those who had been in battle fields and experienced that atmosphere; because in this case the written work becomes wither full of mottos or unbelievable. There may be a story in which the war scenes are narrated by an Iraqi soldier or a person who does not believe in values of war and has gone to battle field accidentally. And in this story judgment is done by the audiences. In such a story we may be able to talk about war in a better and easier way. As an example I can refer to the Film “Leyli Is with Me”?. This film was relatively successful. We can not truly say poems and write stories about Islamic Revolution and war with the language of motto. Mottos were more influential than any poems at that particular time; but they were good for that particular time. And they are expired now. It is the same thing about “Ashoura”? too. Most of books which are written about Imam Hossein (The third imam of Shiite who was martyred on Ashoura) and other imams of Shiite decrease believability of stories and effectiveness in these books due to unsuitable language of the subject (I refer to the mentioned scientific language). We should think and find the special language of war. Here I refer to a poem said by dear “Molavi”? (The famous Iranian poet whose body is buried in Turkey): “It is better that the secret of beloved ones Are said in speeches of others”? Now please pay attention to these pieces of poems selected from poetry collections said by Kazem Mazeenani for teenagers and children: “The sky has a hole like father’s blanket Father wants to cry I hear a sound, I say: it is the sound of a cow Father says: No it is the sound of a war ship City, enemy, the fire of destroyed houses My mother groaned: Ah this Abadan (Abadan is the name of the city near the border and it was under attacked and it was destroyed during war) One air plane flew towards the refinery My father says: The Army is on the way The grandma has crouched in a corner like a hen She had dyed her hair red with henna Father says: We go from this city Then a cigarette grows on his lip The wall clock is afraid like us Its hands have stuck on the Number 2”? 5 This book has been apparently said for the age group of “B”?. It means that the poems are said for children at primary school, those who are at final years of primary school. The poet has been able to choose a relatively suitable language for expressing the subject and speaking about war with indirect and sometimes poetic pictures; but in many cases, the mind of the poet is floating between teenager imaginations and childish imaginations. The look and language is childish when the poet says: “The wall clock is afraid like us”?. But when he says: “The sky has a hole like father’s blanket. Father wants to cry”? or when he says: “Father says: We go from this city. Then a cigarette grows on his lip”?, the audience of the poet is mostly teenagers and the children at guidance school. Despite all these, the book is an acceptable and good book. This poet has had lots of experiences in saying poems for teenagers and less experience in saying poems for children. Now can he dare to say poems about war for infants too? I believe it is almost impossible. If he dares to do this, he will doubtlessly move with a planned program and thought. Now if some poets do not have any suitable experiences in saying poems for children and teenagers, how do they allow themselves to say poems for infants and primary school children with such a difficult subject as war? The subject of war even as a story is itself complicated and heavy for infants. And if this subject is used by poets and writers who are not familiar with the world of children God knows what it will look like? Please pay attention to these pieces from a collection of poems said for children: I have seen you like a white jasmine I have seen your kindness like the martyred dad I have seen your hands in hands of “Nassim”? I have seen your tears, sympathy for Orphan”?6 Please read these pieces of poems said by an almost famous poet. This poet has said good poems for teenagers; but when this poet says poems for infants, the result is not satisfactory at all: Mommy says that dear dad One year in many years ago Went to fight with evil While carrying a gun on his shoulder He has gone to fight with night And shoots his feet And when the evil comes close Your dad wrestles with the evil”? 7 In this poem, there is the language of motto too; but since the poet is familiar with the world of children, he sometimes pictures childish scenes; but it does not mean that children understand them. “Fighting with night”? is a completely adult thought; but considering “Feet”? for “Night”? is a completely childish imagination and when these two adult and childish senses come next to each other, the result is a bad work. “Wrestling with night”? is also a childish concept; but…. Fortunately, the books that were published with the subject of poetry of war in the Year 1386 were a little better compared to the poetry books with the subject of war published during previous years. And there are four or five acceptable books among the large number of weak books which were published just for the book market. During past years, we could not even find these four or five good books. I hope that one day our poets and writers can present valuable works for teenagers, children and infants in particular. God willing! Jafar Ebrahimi “Shahed”? Ramezan 14th, 1387 1: Quoting the Book “Thought and Time”?, Written by Wygotski, Translated by Behrouz Azb Daftari, Nima (NIA) Publication, Tabriz 2: The same reference 3: “Where are you Baharak?”?, Published with the support of “Foundation for Preservation of Monuments and Dissemination of Values of Sacred Defense”? of Fars Province 4: “Blossom of Martyr”? Published by “Jihad Publication of Khoozestan”? 5: 7: 25 O’clock, Written by Mohammad Kazem Mazeenani – Published by “Shahed Publication”? 6: “Defense and Martyrdom”?, Written by Mohammad Kazem Mazeenani – Published by “Shahed Publication”? 7: “I Love Dad”?, Written by Hadi Khoorshahian, Published by “Negarin Publication”? Writer: Jafar Ebrahimi “Shahed”?
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