Wednesday, March 16, 2011

O pen : March 14 Nowruz -- and poem "Declaration"

Nowruz! Persian New Year: (first day of Spring!) is being celebrated at the Memorial Art Gallery March 19th. In honor of this -- compare a translation of Omar Kayyam interpreted from French and English to the left, and the translation by Shahin Monshipour, on the right.

(loosely translated from Omar Kayyam)
On this splendid day, no more cold A Joyous day
nor any heaviness yet of summer not heavy with heat, not burdened by cold
a cloud is dusting off the faces of flowers cloud dusting off the garden’s tired

the nightingale coaxing the yellow roses the n’gale singing, his soul singing to a
“Drink this wine – allow these charms yellow rose,
wine, wine, red wine
Wine we must drink, wine we must drink. red wine, we must drink,

(Note: Nightingale – love – endures thorns of roses and still can sing praises.
No more cold=winter is over; equinox ; yellow implies faded, tired and the wine is metaphorical spiritual sustenance)
Shahin enjoyed this poem I wrote for her, based on Edna St. Vincent Millay's poem, "Modern Declaration"

(with a nod to Edna St. Vincent Millay)

I, having loved something I didn’t have a name for as a child,
the first robin in March, the last goose call in November,
the view of Venus shimmering in a sunset,
never lose, when surrounded by sidewalks and click of high heels, confused
by lack of sleep, too much food, drink, or misguided heart, even then,
my love, lariat-whipped like chocolate on an ├ęclair,
clarity-sieved until each ion of sense becomes arabesque curling around
discounting, discredit, diminishment, wrung into to first bells of crocus,
the mourning dove, the nightingale, yes,
that love, I,
no matter which country, what season, what party in power,
declare my love for the dignity of being, yes,
I do this declare.


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