The poetry congress has been launched by the Art Bureau of the Islamic Ideology Dissemination Organization to salute Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani for his valor during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, which is known as the Sacred Defense in Iran.

In the classical Persian poetry, “O Persian Pious” by Gholamreza Kafi won first prize, while “Loneliness at 1:20” by Hassan Zarnaqi, “Continuation of Ashura” by Zahra Mohaddesi and “Tell in Which Place of the Red Night” by Alireza Rajabalizadeh were selected as runner-up.

No poem in this category was able to attain the necessary points to win third prize.

No poems were able to take first or second place in the blank verse poetry category, while “White Tongue” by Fahimeh Qaedi and “Have Seen a Sunflower” by Masumeh Sadat Shakeri won third prize.

General Soleimani’s family, a number of senior figures of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and groups of literati attended the closing ceremony of the congress.

Speaking at the ceremony, Soleimani’s daughter, Zeinab, said, “People who knew Hajji Qassem know well that he was really an aficionado of poetry and literature.”    

“We are on the verge of commemorating Hajji Qassem’s second martyrdom anniversary and today’s meeting is a small step towards remembering the highest examples of his humanity and endeavors,” she added.

“The martyrdom of the ummah’s hero will be recorded as a great honor in the history of Iran and a black mark against the U.S. terrorist regime,” she noted.

The winning poems were selected from about 450 submissions by a jury composed of the congress president, Morteza Amiri-Esfandaqeh, Saeid Yusefnia and Mostafa Mohaddes Khorasani.

Earlier in September, Amiri-Esfandaqeh said that the team has been told to do its job without any leniency or laxity, and added, “With respect to the emotions and feelings of all poets participating in this meeting, we will do our best to prevent any superficial poem from being selected for the collection.”

“The meeting also intends to collect top poems on the great valor Martyr Soleimani showed during the early days of the war,” Amiri-Esfandaqeh stated.

“The poems should be as perfect as his heroism,” he noted and added, “This congress will help bolster the revolution poetry.”   

The congress plans to publish the poems selected in a book.