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Authors: H.E. Sayeh
Translators: Chad Sweeney & Mojdeh Marashi
H.E. Sayeh is one of Iran’s most celebrated poets and the last living poet of the Iranian Renaissance. This compelling selection is the first to span fifty years of Sayeh’s bearing witness to a turbulent Iranian century, especially the national crises which followed the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and the CIA-led coup d’état of 1953. Nicknamed the “Modern Hafez” and called by some the best Iranian poet of the ghazal in the modern era, Sayeh shows tremendous range, from the inward, spare lyric to bardic incantations which roll off the tongue and resonate with the voice of the whole nation, blending traditional Persian verse in the spirit of Rumi and Hafez with issues of contemporary Iranian society. Textured and densely musical, these translations exhibit Sayeh’s shouts of political outrage and lament, love poems, philosophical meditations and elegies. Like Lorca’s Andalusian deep song, Sayeh’s poems issue from the Iranian deep image, as old as the world itself, stirred by the chords of the sitar and the sounds of gunfire, playful or romantic in one moment, grief-stricken in the next. Mojdeh Marashi and Chad Sweeney have delivered exquisite translations of this important Iranian poet.
H.E. Sayeh is one of Iran’s most celebrated poets and the last living poet of the Iranian Renaissance.
H.E. Sayeh (Houshang Ebtehaj) is one of the most important Iranian poets of the twentieth century. His many books exhibit a hybrid of political poetry and traditional Iranian verse in the lineage of Persian masters, Rumi and Hafiz; though in the style of modern innovator, Nima Yushij, his work emphasizes current issues of Iranian society, especially the national crises which followed the CIA led coup d’état of 1953 and the Islamic Revolution of 1979. He is a leading musicologist in Iranian classical music, and a world-renowned Hafiz scholar. Sayeh’s books of poetry include First Songs (1946), Mirage (1951), Bleak Travails (1953), Earth (1955), Pages from the Longest Night (1965), Bleak Travails II (1973), Until the Dawn of the Longest Night (1981), Memorial to the Blood of the Cypress (1981), Bleak Travails III (1985), Bleak Travails IV (1992), Mirror in Mirror, Selected Poems (Edited by M.R. shafie-Kadkani, 1995) and Bleak Travails V (1999). Sayeh lives alternately in Cologne, Germany and in Tehran, Iran.
Chad Sweeney is the author of three books of poetry, Parable of Hide and Seek, Arranging the Blaze, and An Architecture. He lives in Kalamazoo with his wife, poet Jennifer K. Sweeney.
Mojdeh Marashi is a San Francisco Bay Area writer and visual artist. Her fiction was chosen to appear in the anthology Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been: Women of the Iranian Diaspora. She makes a living as a software designer and is currently working on a number of literary projects including a collection of short stories.
“[Sayeh’s poems] are of such quality and beauty that like golden coins they will immortalize Sayeh’s name in the Persian language.”
“Sayeh’s poetry is a continuation of the aesthetics of Hafez’s poetic style. From the time that Hafez introduced his style of poetry, which has been admired by people all over the world, until now, many great poets have tried to fly in the sky of his art . . . but no one has been as successful as Sayeh. [For] more than half a century all Persian poetry lovers have filled their memories with Sayeh’s poems, and if we had a true statistic of the memories of those who know the works of all living poets of our time by heart, we would see that none can compete with Sayeh. Many of Sayeh’s verses have become current expressions . . . .”
|$16.00||128 pages (Original Trade Paperback)||ISBN: 978-1-935210-27-6||2011|