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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: In stock
Published: 2021
Page #: xxii + 235
Size: 6 x 9
ISBN: 978-1568593593
plates, bibliography, notes

 
$35.00

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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.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS x

FOREWORD xi
M. R. Ghanoonparvar

PREFACE xiii

POEMS

Nima Yushij 2
The Cold Hearth
Makhulla
Night
Memory
My Home is Cloudy
O Men
The Moonlight Seeps
Ri ra
A Familiar Story
Night all night
Akhavan Saless 18
My Garden
Windows
Like a Thirsty Pitcher
Lament
Graftings and the Garden
Winter
The Moment of Meeting
Green
Prayer

Shamlou 34
Nocturne
Nothing to Say
Song for Acquaintance
Midnight
The Death of the Nazarene
Poverty
On the Paving-Stones
Dark Song
Execution Hour
Sketch
In this Dead End

Atashi 52
Mountain Ghazal
Perhaps
One Day
Vision at Dawn
We Didn’t Know

Naderpour 60
Unspoken
A Kind of Storm
Rome
Behind the Fire
Grape Poem
Square
Qom
The Shortest Distance between Two Points
Under Western Skies

Kasrai 74
Arash the Archer (prologue)
(Untitled)
Echo
Drawing
Domestication

Ebtehaj 84
Sterile
Night-bound
Sentiment
What a Blessing is this Sorrow
Arghavan
The Sorrow of the Mirror

Farrokhzad 96
My Lover
Couple
Daybreak
The Wind-up Doll
In the Cold Streets of the Night
Friday
Journey Poem
The Wind will take us Away
Another Birth
My Heart is Sore

Rahmani 118
New Town
He Looked Once
The Image Trembled
Exile in the Link of the Chain


Roya’I 126
Seasong 3
Seasong 4
Seasong 9
Seasong 14
Seasong 29

Hoqouqi 132
A Shadow on the Wall
Dust at the Foot of the Water-mill
And it is this that I know
Poem

Ahmad Reza Ahmadi 142
With Wide Eyes
The Latest News
O Dark Mankind
Pleasure Ground
Story
Identity Card
News
Rain on a Friday Morning

Noori’ala 154
A Memory for the New Generation
Sky and River
Narrative
Our Name is Love
A Poem is Something Private

Azad 162
I am a Plant
How do I Praise
Abadan
Evening
A Long Blue Season
Without you I am Dust
It is not only Men who Cry

Jalali 172
Five Untitled Poems

Sepanlou 178
Happy Day
O Long-suffering World (from Pavements/Sidewalks)
Caravanserai
A Letter with Bad News
Autumn Arrives
I Take the Pulse of my Country

Sepehri 190
In Golestaneh
Light I Flower Water
The Trembling Word Existence
An Oasis in the Moment
Sketch
Water

NOTES 199

ADDENDA 219

SOME OPENING LINES 222

BIBLIOGRAPHY 233

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 235

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