Ali Esfandyari (1897-1960), who later on chose “Nima Youshij” as his pen name, was born in Yoush, a village in Mazandaran, Iran. He learnt reading and writing from a Mullah who lived there. However, at the age of twelve, he moved to Tehran and was enrolled at St. Louis High School.
At school, due to the care and encouragement of a teacher called Nezam Vafa, he set foot in the realm of poetry. At first, sometimes, and later, more often, he wrote poems with rhythms different from the customary ones in Persian poetry. The literary figures regarded these types of poems sometimes with admiration and approval, sometimes with ridicule and even with anger. The nature of his birthplace, the objects and the language of the people there made strong lights and shades in Nima’s poetry.
Nima Youshij is considered the father of modern Persian poetry. As a result of his innovations in the realm of rhythm, rhyme and meter, the poets can now break free from limitations of traditional verse form and transfer what they intend to express in accordance with the mood and the atmosphere.
He died in Tehran and was buried in his village, Yoush, as he had willed.