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The Forbidden
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During the 1979 revolution, Iranians from all walks of life, whether Muslim, Jewish, Christian, socialist, or atheist, fought side-by-side to end one tyrannical regime, only to find themselves in the clutches of another. When Khomeini came to power, freedom of the press was eliminated, religious tolerance disappeared, women’s rights narrowed to fit within a conservative interpretation of the Quran, and non-Islamic music and literature were banned. Poets, writers, and artists were driven deep underground and, in many cases, out of the country altogether. This moving anthology is a testament to both the centuries-old tradition of Persian poetry and the enduring will of the Iranian people to resist injustice. The poems selected for this collection represent the young, the old, and the ancient. They are written by poets who call or have called Iran home, many of whom have become part of a diverse and thriving diaspora.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
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  1. Dedication
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  1. Contents
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xi
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  1. A Note to the Reader
  2. pp. xiii-xiii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. xv-xviii
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  1. The State of Red
  1. And Behold
  2. pp. 3-3
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  1. In This Dead-End Road
  2. pp. 4-5
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  1. Death Sermon
  2. pp. 6-6
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  1. The State of Red
  2. pp. 7-8
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  1. Parts of a Pedestrian in a Tunnel
  2. pp. 9-11
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  1. Of Sea Wayfarers
  2. pp. 12-13
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  1. Blood and Ash
  2. pp. 14-14
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  1. Camouflage Costumes
  2. pp. 15-15
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  1. Untitled
  2. pp. 16-17
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  1. A Mob! Tumult!
  2. pp. 18-18
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  1. My House Is Cloudy
  2. pp. 19-19
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  1. Blood’s Voice
  2. pp. 20-23
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  1. If Rising from Your Grave
  2. pp. 24-24
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  1. Death from the Window
  2. pp. 25-25
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  1. Life
  2. pp. 26-26
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  1. The Sticky Dream of a Banished Butterfly (Excerpt)
  2. pp. 27-28
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  1. Our Tears Are Sweet
  2. pp. 29-29
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  1. I See the Sea . . .
  2. pp. 30-31
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  1. You Said, It’s Only Grapes
  2. pp. 32-51
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  1. Translating Silence
  1. Me
  2. pp. 35-35
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  1. The Poem
  2. pp. 36-40
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  1. From “23”
  2. pp. 41-43
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  1. The Shah and Hosseinzadeh
  2. pp. 44-44
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  1. Hosseinzadeh, the Head Executioner
  2. pp. 45-46
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  1. Ass Poem
  2. pp. 47-47
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  1. Depression
  2. pp. 48-48
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  1. Petition
  2. pp. 49-49
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  1. A List of Names
  2. pp. 50-52
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  1. Nargess
  2. pp. 53-53
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  1. Always the Same . . .
  2. pp. 54-55
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  1. I Did Not Expect
  2. pp. 56-57
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  1. Of Your Uncles
  2. pp. 58-59
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  1. 99 Names of Exile
  1. 99 Names of Exile
  2. pp. 63-63
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  1. Ghazal 2
  2. pp. 64-64
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  1. Spring Story
  2. pp. 65-66
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  1. Marco Polo
  2. pp. 67-69
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  1. Red-Raft Woman
  2. pp. 70-70
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  1. Map of Ashen Roads
  2. pp. 71-72
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  1. Memorial Day
  2. pp. 73-74
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  1. Family of Scatterable Mines
  2. pp. 75-75
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  1. Airport
  2. pp. 76-77
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  1. Bleeding Green
  1. From Green to Green
  2. pp. 81-81
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  1. The Green of Iran
  2. pp. 82-83
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  1. Song of a Forbidden Woman
  2. pp. 84-85
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  1. At the Hamlet of Golestaneh
  2. pp. 86-87
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  1. Summer Is a Green Story
  2. pp. 88-89
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  1. A New Idea
  2. pp. 90-90
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  1. Feminist
  2. pp. 91-92
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  1. When a Color Stops Being a Color, Becomes Something Else Completely
  2. pp. 93-95
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  1. Rebellious God
  1. Rebellious God
  2. pp. 99-100
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  1. Lovers!
  2. pp. 101-101
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  1. Return to the Wellspring
  2. pp. 102-103
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  1. Criticizing the Veil
  2. pp. 104-106
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  1. Collage Sixteen
  2. pp. 107-107
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  1. Martyrs of Iran
  2. pp. 108-109
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  1. I Didn’t Ask for My Parents
  2. pp. 110-110
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  1. God’s Poem
  2. pp. 111-111
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  1. Fire; take a step . . .
  2. pp. 112-112
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  1. Hezbollah
  2. pp. 113-113
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  1. A Homily on Leaving
  2. pp. 114-115
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  1. Religion
  2. pp. 116-116
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  1. Of Leaving
  2. pp. 117-117
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  1. Stepping through Time
  1. The Art of Stepping through Time
  2. pp. 121-122
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  1. In Praise of Big Noses
  2. pp. 123-124
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  1. Untitled
  2. pp. 125-125
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  1. Those Who Stood Up for Tolerance
  2. pp. 126-126
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  1. Rhyme by Rhyme
  2. pp. 127-127
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  1. Stay Light on Your Feet
  2. pp. 128-128
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  1. Collage Eleven
  2. pp. 129-129
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  1. Collage Fourteen
  2. pp. 130-130
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  1. The Plumber’s Poem
  2. pp. 131-131
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  1. My Hands Tremble Yet Again—A Soliloquy
  2. pp. 132-133
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  1. Hot Tea, a Warm Muffin
  2. pp. 134-134
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  1. Mulberries and Chador
  2. pp. 135-135
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  1. Return from My Body’s Black-and-Blue
  2. pp. 136-136
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  1. Caravan
  2. pp. 137-139
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  1. Connection
  2. pp. 140-141
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  1. I Won’t Quit Loving
  2. pp. 142-142
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  1. Morning Star
  2. pp. 143-144
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  1. Twittering
  2. pp. 145-146
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  1. Someone like No One
  2. pp. 147-150
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  1. Water
  2. pp. 151-152
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  1. About the Poets and Translators
  2. pp. 153-163
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