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The Forbidden

Poems from Iran and its Exiles

Sholeh Wolpé

Publication Year: 2012

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.

Published by: Michigan State University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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Dedication

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Acknowledgments

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p. xi-xi

A Note to the Reader

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p. xiii-xiii

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Introduction

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pp. xv-xviii

One Saturday afternoon while walking down Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, I gave into the urge to stop people at random and ask them what came to their minds when I mentioned Iran. Here are some of their responses: Islamic government, human rights violations, a nuclear...

The State of Red

And Behold

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p. 3-3

In This Dead-End Road

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pp. 4-5

Death Sermon

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p. 6-6

The State of Red

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pp. 7-8

Parts of a Pedestrian in a Tunnel

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pp. 9-11

Of Sea Wayfarers

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pp. 12-13

Blood and Ash

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p. 14-14

Camouflage Costumes

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p. 15-15

Untitled

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pp. 16-17

A Mob! Tumult!

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p. 18-18

My House Is Cloudy

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p. 19-19

Blood’s Voice

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pp. 20-23

If Rising from Your Grave

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p. 24-24

Death from the Window

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p. 25-25

Life

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p. 26-26

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The Sticky Dream of a Banished Butterfly (Excerpt)

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pp. 27-28

Maryam Hooleh

Our Tears Are Sweet

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p. 29-29

I See the Sea . . .

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pp. 30-31

You Said, It’s Only Grapes

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pp. 32-51

Translating Silence

The Poem

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pp. 36-40

From “23”

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pp. 41-43

The Shah and Hosseinzadeh

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p. 44-44

Hosseinzadeh, the Head Executioner

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pp. 45-46

Ass Poem

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p. 47-47

Depression

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p. 48-48

Petition

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p. 49-49

A List of Names

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pp. 50-52

Nargess

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p. 53-53

Always the Same . . .

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pp. 54-55

I Did Not Expect

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pp. 56-57

Of Your Uncles

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pp. 58-59

99 Names of Exile

99 Names of Exile

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p. 63-63

Ghazal 2

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p. 64-64

Spring Story

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pp. 65-66

Marco Polo

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pp. 67-69

Red-Raft Woman

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p. 70-70

Map of Ashen Roads

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pp. 71-72

Memorial Day

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pp. 73-74

Family of Scatterable Mines

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p. 75-75

Airport

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pp. 76-77

Bleeding Green

From Green to Green

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p. 81-81

The Green of Iran

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pp. 82-83

Song of a Forbidden Woman

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pp. 84-85

At the Hamlet of Golestaneh

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pp. 86-87

Summer Is a Green Story

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pp. 88-89

A New Idea

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p. 90-90

Feminist

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pp. 91-92

When a Color Stops Being a Color, Becomes Something Else Completely

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pp. 93-95

Rebellious God

Rebellious God

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pp. 99-100

Lovers!

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p. 101-101

Return to the Wellspring

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pp. 102-103

Criticizing the Veil

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pp. 104-106

Collage Sixteen

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p. 107-107

Martyrs of Iran

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pp. 108-109

I Didn’t Ask for My Parents

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p. 110-110

God’s Poem

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p. 111-111

Fire; take a step . . .

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p. 112-112

Hezbollah

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p. 113-113

A Homily on Leaving

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pp. 114-115

Religion

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p. 116-116

Of Leaving

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p. 117-117

Stepping through Time

The Art of Stepping through Time

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pp. 121-122

In Praise of Big Noses

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pp. 123-124

Untitled

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p. 125-125

Those Who Stood Up for Tolerance

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p. 126-126

Rhyme by Rhyme

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p. 127-127

Stay Light on Your Feet

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p. 128-128

Collage Eleven

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p. 129-129

Collage Fourteen

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p. 130-130

The Plumber’s Poem

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p. 131-131

My Hands Tremble Yet Again—A Soliloquy

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pp. 132-133

Hot Tea, a Warm Muffin

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p. 134-134

Mulberries and Chador

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p. 135-135

Return from My Body’s Black-and-Blue

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p. 136-136

Caravan

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pp. 137-139

Connection

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pp. 140-141

I Won’t Quit Loving

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p. 142-142

Morning Star

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pp. 143-144

Twittering

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pp. 145-146

Someone like No One

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pp. 147-150

Water

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pp. 151-152

About the Poets and Translators

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pp. 153-163


E-ISBN-13: 9781609173296
E-ISBN-10: 1609173295
Print-ISBN-13: 9781611860344
Print-ISBN-10: 1611860342

Page Count: 182
Publication Year: 2012

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Exiles' writings, Persian -- Translations into English.
  • Persian poetry -- Translations into English.
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