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Learn Persian Through Poetry

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Overview

If you know anything about Iranian culture, you know that poetry is held in the utmost esteem- in fact, you can argue that knowing poetry is as important as knowing conversational Persian! For this reason, we created the poetry course, designed to teach you the Persian language through classical and modern Persian poetry.

In the introductory lesson of each poem, Leyla and a guest discuss the poet and the historical context in which the poem was written. They also delve into the symbolism and meaning behind the poem. In subsequent lessons, Leyla covers the specific words and phrases of each poem, and how they can be applied to modern conversational Persian as well.

Please note: No previous knowledge of the Persian language required to take the poetry course- in fact, they’re designed to help you take your knowledge of the Persian language to the next level, no matter where you are today!

What’s Included

40+ audio lessons: Each poem includes an introduction with Leyla and a guest, and subsequent lessons where each word and phrase of the poem is covered.
Printable Lesson Guides and Transcripts: Each lesson includes a comprehensive guide with the full poem written in both phonetic English and Persian script- so you don’t have to be able to read and write Persian to learn the poetry!
Audio Vocabulary Lists: The audio vocabulary lists include the poem line by line so you can listen to each individually at your own pace. In addition, you can listen to each word and phrase in the poem individually as well, and learn how they’re used in the context of conversational Persian.
Learn from anywhere and at your own pace: Once you’re a member you have full access to all the learning materials we’ve ever created- listen to one lesson a week (they’re only 15-20 minutes each) or more if you’re in a hurry. Our mobile friendly website also makes it easy to learn wherever you are, whether seated at a desk, or on the go.
Track Your Progress: Through our member portal, you’ll be able to mark lessons as complete and get suggestions on how to further your learning as you go through the program

The Poets

Shamlou
Shamlou
Shamlou is a contemporary poet known for his biting critique of the politics of modern Iran.
Rumi
Rumi
Arguably the most well-known and widely read Iranian poet throughout the world, Rumi weaves in themes of the divine, love, wine, and devotion.
Saadi
Saadi
Full of practical advice and guides on how to live a life worth living, Saadi is a classical poet still widely read today.
Sohrab Sepehri
Sohrab Sepehri
A modern poet, Sohrab Sepehri was known for his themes of nature and his humanist approach to poetry.
Forough Farrokhzad
Forough Farrokhzad
One of the most influential poets of the 20th century, Farrokhzad wrote about the challenges of being a woman in modern Iran, and the themes of loneliness, modernity, and politics.
Khayyam
Khayyam
A classic poet, Khayyam is known for his "carpe diem" attitude- he espoused others to live well, drink merrily, and enjoy life.

Want to check out all the lessons? Click here

Speak Persian

Speak Persian

Chai and Conversation is a different kind of Persian (Farsi) learning program. In fact, we are the only resource available that teaches PURELY conversational Persian rather than the formal, written stuff, which people don’t use in everyday speaking.

Check out Speak Persian
Read/Write Persian

Read/Write Persian

Also interested in reading and writing in Persian? It’s a great way to take your langauge learning journey to the next level, and helps open many doors to you. We offer a full course on how to learn that too!

Check out Read/Write Persian

What do our students say about the poetry program?

We’ve had great feedback…

I grew up as a Jewish kid in a Kansas suburb after my family moved. I felt like an outsider, but I remember hanging out at a book store and picking up a book on Persian history. I was fascinated with it. One section discussed the legacy of Cyrus the Great and his treatment of minorities within his empire. He is the only non-Jew in the Jewish bible to be called an "anointed one." And I was very impressed with the Persian influence on mathematics, astronomy, and medicine.

Now as a surgical resident I have limited time to spare on hobbies. However, through your podcast I was inspired to pursue learning Persian because your team has made it so accessible. I think your poetry section is very innovative. I love that now I can appreciate the prose, and by extension, Iranian culture, on a deeper level. Thanks a lot!

Alexander
Alexander

Over the past 4 years, I've been trying to learn and understand Farsi but have felt like I've not made much progress past the basics.

This week's lessons, where you learn most of the poem, have helped me build my confidence with speaking. By taking the time to memorize each line I've been able to improve my pronunciation and the rhythm of the poetry makes it so much easier to memorize and recall.

The writing course is also brilliant - I had the satisfaction of being able to decipher labels my boyfriend's mum wrote on food which she made when she visited us from Iran. I've also been able to navigate the Manoto website and watch some بفرمایید شام.

Ellie
Ellie

I love the community created by Chai and conversation! As someone who grew up speaking Farsi at home with my family, it was a challenge maintaining the skills into adulthood.

Listening to the Poetry lessons has brought me joy during the pandemic and a deeper connection to my roots. I never thought I would be able to recite persian poetry, but the way Leyla brings the poems to life with podcast guests makes it not only interesting & entertaining but also easier to make a connection with the story and poet. Each line is broken down and written in Farsi and English which also helps tremendously! I was able to surprise my parents who teared up when I recited some of their favorite poems. Can't wait to learn more!

Now I have a young son and husband who are beginning to learn. So grateful for this community and all the effort Leyla and her team put into the lessons.

Shadi
Shadi

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