Today, the significance of studying literature comparatively has found a special place among literary fields of study, in such a way that in most important universities of the world, this major, i.e., comparative literature is thought, as researches in this field are important in truly knowing and recognizing the literature and litterateurs of every language. Considering this matter, the study and comparison of social themes in Nima Yushij's and Ahmad Shoghi's poems and the investigation of the influence of western contemporary literature on both poets would help recognize the poets' worldviews and patterns of thought and the position they hold in the literary system of both nations. Such studies could pave the way for research in world literature and would consequently provoke mutual understanding among people in the world. This study aims at recognizing all social themes present in Nima Yushij's and Ahmad Shoghi's poems by using a comparative method.
This study has been conducted based on research project and its goals, using library resources in the field of humanities and studying best documented works. The research process involved a thorough study of Nima Yushij's and Ahmad Shoghi's poems to extract, take notes of, and collect data, then the Arabic poems were translated to start analyzing the data, and finally, the research was ready after typing and editing.
By studying Nima Yushij's and Ahmad Shoghi's poems and comparing social themes in them, it was found that both poets referred to themes such as poverty, defending human rights, criticizing oppression and injustice, freedom, truth-seeking, backwardness in society, labor, women's position, children, and homeland, which will be briefly discussed in the following section.
- Nima states that poverty is a result of the rulers practicing injustice, war, class distinction, etc., and to solve this problem, he persuades the poor to fight against poverty. But, Shoghi regards poverty as something destined, the causes of which are unknown, and he sees its cure in the rich helping the poor. - Both poets have referred to human rights in the forms of justice, freedom, and truth-seeking. The both consider injustice as something ephemeral and advice the rulers to practice justice. They refer to the concept of freedom in the form of 'anti-colonialism' and 'anti-despotism', and invites the society to attain freedom. Nima in his poems refers to three examples of inequality of rights, namely, class distinction, feudal system, and the lack of meritocracy. He tries to raise the peoples' awareness and encourage them to fight for their rights. Also, Ahmad Shoghi criticizes the inequality of wealth and rights in his time. He considers rights to be eternal, and states that rights should be attained gently, without fighting, while Nima believed that rights would be better obtained by fighting for them.
- Using environmental elements, Nima criticizes peoples' ignorance, gullibility, superstition, and consumerism. Also, observing the development of European countries and the backwardness of Egypt in all fields, like peoples' illiteracy, ignorance, and inferiority, Shoghi's heart aches for people and he tries to find a solution. He find the solution to this backwardness in three things, namely, encouraging people to attain knowledge, to create new industries, and to complain about disease and lack of hygiene.
- Both poets invite people to work and endeavour, and they consider working a value.
- In Nima's poems, Wherever the women's names are mentioned, we see that they are suffering weakness, poverty, fatigue, illiteracy, and many other problems. Also, what the reflection of women's condition in his time suggests the lack of women's presence in society and their lack of education. Nima complains about women taking off their hijab, while Shoghi regards this as women's natural right. Shoghi has discussed about the two issues of women's education and marriage and other matters relevant to these issues, and he criticizes old men marrying young girls.
- Both poets, as two intellectuals in their times, are not ignorant of the future generation. They encourage children to have such attributes as beneficence, purity in words, loyalty, and honesty, and to avoid moral vices, such as laziness, nonchalance, cunning, and animal cruelty.
- other common themes found in Nima Yushij's and Ahmad Shoghi's poems include 'homeland' and 'patriotism'. Both poets have great affection for their homeland, despite the all deprivations and lacks existing there.
In Nima Yushij's and Ahmad Shoghi's time, Iran and Egypt were under internal despotism and external colonialism, during which different extensive cultural, economic, political, and social problems existed in these societies. Successive political and social events highly influenced the poets' soul. Both poets used 'poem' as an instrument to express social issues, and there are very similar social themes in their poems. Reading their poems, we are faced with true emotions reflecting peoples' pains and problems. While Nima has discussed social themes with a deeper look and a bolder language, and he has given much more attention to the details of problems in society, Shoghi has taken a general look at social issues. Some themes, like poverty, have been discussed more extensively by Nima, while some other themes, like women and homeland, have been discussed more extensively by Shoghi. Both committed social poets have shown a tendency towards symbolism in their poetry due to their familiarity with European culture and literature, especially French, which has inevitably influenced their thought and poems.