Tag Archives: Roger Sedarat

Hafez

Hafez, one of the classical masters of Persian poetry, was born in Shiraz, Iran, in the early 14th century. His ghazals excel both in musicality as well as in intricate wordplay. Because of both its incredible style as well as its deft philosophical treatment of such themes as death, love, and divine worship, his verse has had a lasting and pervasive influence on Persian language and culture. 

 

Roger Sedarat (translator) is the author of Dear Regime: Letters to the Islamic Republic, which won Ohio UP’s Hollis Summers Open Book Competition, and Ghazal Games (Ohio UP, 2011). His translations of classical and modern Persian verse have appeared in World Literature Today, Drunken Boat, and Arroyo. His translated collection of the Iranian poet Nader Naderpour is forthcoming from Teneo Press. He teaches poetry and translation in the MFA Program at Queens College, City University of New York.

 

Ghazal 6

Who will recite this prayer to the sultan?
“Let love link the beggar to the sovereign.”

When demon eyes watch me in the dark woods,
Look, for light and shelter, to the sovereign.

Idol, be mindful of dark eyelashes.
Deceit doesn’t matter to the sovereign.

A loving expression consumes a world.
Your selfishness looks poor to the sovereign.

In restless nights, I pray the morning breeze
Will carry the lover to the sovereign.

Moon-strike them, beloved! Cypress-shake them.
Show the lovers’ nature to the sovereign.

For God’s sake, give Hafez a morning drink.
He’ll bless you in a prayer to the sovereign.

 

 

Hafez_Poem

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, a 13th century Persian sufi mystic poet, was born on the eastern edge of the Persian empire and resettled with his family in early adulthood to Turkey. Descended from a long line of theologians and scholars, he absorbed the teachings of such masters as Attar from an early age, quickly becoming a spiritual leader. A friendship with his greatest teacher, Shams-y-Tabriz, and this man’s subsequent departure after a few years, greatly influenced the outpouring of Rumi’s verse of longing for the beloved. Rumi’s writing continues to make an integral impact upon literary traditions throughout the world.

 

Roger Sedarat is the author of Dear Regime: Letters to the Islamic Republic, which won Ohio UP’s Hollis Summers Open Book Competition, and Ghazal Games (Ohio UP, 2011). His translations of classical and modern Persian verse have appeared in World Literature Today, Drunken Boat, and Arroyo.  His translated collection  of the Iranian poet Nader Naderpour is forthcoming from Teneo Press. He teaches poetry and translation in the MFA Program at Queens College, City University of New York.

 

I’ve lost it all my life all lost—
the sky the earth, dear moon, all lost.
Don’t hand me wine. Pour it in my mouth.
(I’ve even lost the way to my mouth). 

 

 

Rumi_Poem