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The New Verse: A Selection of Modern Persian Poetry

Cover by Sohrab Sepehri (Gouache on paper, 69 x 50 cm., 1339/1960).

Availability: Forthcoming
Published: 2021
Page #: xii + 204
Size: 6 x 9
ISBN: 978-1568593593
plates, bibliography, notes

Quick Overview

The ‘new verse’ in Iran was initiated by Nima Yushij in the early decades of the 20th century. It constituted a sharp break in both content and form from the centuries-old traditions of Persian poetry. During the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s, and despite political and other constraints it developed rapidly. Indeed, it is astonishing that such a rich variety of poetry should have been composed within a few decades, and this collection aims to show that. Although much of this has already been translated, the prime aim of this book by an established Irish poet is to do justice to this as poetry in the English language.

While many poets were active during these decades the book focuses on the work of seventeen of these offering readers a substantial sample of each writer, together with some background notes and references. The book contains work by both politically committed or socially aware poets on the one hand and those who explored more literary or philosophical themes and perspectives on the other. While it is difficult to give precise start and end dates for this phenomenon, the work spans the period from the post-war years up to the 1979 revolution, when the situation changed radically. However, a few poems beyond that date by poets who were already well established have been included.

As with all verse translations, the texts have to negotiate the competing demands of fidelity and fluency. The author is an experienced poet and translator and it is hoped that his translations will allow an English language readership to understand and appreciate the esteem in which this poetry is held by many Iranians, as well as providing the latter with another source for this work.

author

Geoffrey Squires

Geoffrey Squires (b.1942) is an Irish poet and translator. He grew up in Co. Donegal and has a first degree from Cambridge and a doctorate from Edinburgh universities. He published a selection of 19 modern Persian poems in Poésie Vivante (Geneva) in 1968, on his return from three years in Iran where he was a lecturer in the Faculty of Letters, Isfahan. More recently Miami University Press (Ohio) brought out his translations of Hafez (2014) and Rumi (2020) the first of which won the Lois Roth Persian translation prize. His own poetry has been published extensively in Ireland and the UK and six of his books have appeared in bilingual English-French editions from Editions Unes, Nice. He has given readings in a number of countries and was a writer in residence in Béthune in northern France in 1916. His book of translations of early Irish poetry, My News for You, was published by Shearsman Press, Bristol, in 2015 and is held in the reading room of the National Library in Dublin.

Acknowledgements

Introduction


About the Poets

Nima Yushij

Akhavan Saless (Omid)

Ahmad Shamlou (Bamdad)

Manuchehr Atashi

Nader Naderpour

Siyavash Kasrai

Hooshang Ebtehaj (Sayeh)

Forough Farrokhzad

Nosrat Rahmani

Yadullah Roya’i

Mohammad Hoquqi

Ahmad Reza Ahmadi

Esmail Noori’ala (Peyam)

M. Azad

Bijhan Jalali

Mohammad-Ali Sepanlou

Sohrab Sepehri

Addendum

Some Opening Lines

Bibliography

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