after Agha Shahid Ali’s “Arabic” At springtime—Persian new year—we circle around the warmth of bonfires to chant, Give me your color, take back my sickly pallor. There is rebirth in this language. A groom exchanges vows with his Persian bride in a foreign tongue.
Fady Joudah‘s “Footprints in the Order of Disappearance,” from our Spring 2018 Issue, will be featured in the 2020 Pushcart anthology due out in November. A fever of thyself think of the Earth I call the finding of certain things loss I hold grief close
My mother picks up the pestle and mortar and does to saffron what the clerics have done to her country/ pours in steaming water till the liquid in the bowl becomes the Caspian swallowing the sun/ it smells like a home I have not returned
Digging through trash, I smell the whiskey on Shamlu’s breath. It’s not so strange. He once stood here recording the rhythm of the butcher’s cleaver like a journalist for Satan’s newspaper. In the ash of lilies and the charred remains of tortured canaries, I open
Why I Chose It: Michigan Quarterly Review Reader Michael M. Weinstein introduces Sohrab Sepehri’s poem “Toward the Image of the Friend,” Translated by Franklin Lewis, from our Spring 2019 Issue: Iran. The poems of Sohrab Sepehri (1928-1980) occupy a special place in the history of Persian poetry, and