Two Persian Poets
translated by Gary Gach and Hamed Kashani
she waves to me
behind a car windowpane
& i blow her a kiss
as one day
you may read
the exact same scene in the past tense
& from a different point of view in another poet's poem
what good is a map of the whole world
the maps i love are those you dream up
lined with boundaries rivers subways houses
& a tiny map by you
with a guard at each of the four corners
shouting to each other from their watchtowers
& whose two ends I unite
rolling it all up in a tube
Hafez Moosavi (1955 — ) was born in Roodbar and lives in Tehran. Author of five books of poetry, he co-founded the contemporary poetry magazine Ahang-e Digar with Shams Langeroodi and Shahab Mogharabin, and founded Vazna, Iran's first online poetry journal. He is also a critic and teaches poetry workshops.
Mohammad Shams Langeroodi (1950 — ) was born in Langerood, Gilan, and lives in Tehran. He is a teacher and the author of the monumental four-volume Analytic History of Modern Persian Poetry, two novels, and several books of poetry. With Hafez Moosavi and Shahab Mogharabin he co-founded Ahang-e Digar, a journal of contemporary poetry. He has said “The relation of art and reality is similar to that of water and cloud. Although it might seem that there is no relation between them, yet they are inseparable.”
Co-translator Gary Gach is author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Buddhism, editor of What Book!? — Buddha Poems from Beat to Hiphop, and translator from Korean of three books by Ko Un, Flowers of a Moment, Songs for Tomorrow, and Ten Thousand Lives. He hosts Mindfulness Fellowship, and swims in the Bay.
Co-translator Hamed Kashani is a member of poetry workshops at Karmaneh in Tehran, where he works in computer engineering. He is active in his community, working in the tradition of Robert Chambers, and hosts Friends of the Garden with Gary Gach.