Tehran, 2006

Tehran, 2006

  Everyone has experienced Blue Car Syndrome before in some form or another. You buy a blue car, now you can’t stop seeing them. I’ve taken that one step farther and described what I call ‘Linguistic Blue Car Syndrome,’ where, as a language learner, you learn a word or phrase, and suddenly can’t stop hearing … Continue reading

‘Attar, Reprobate of His Age

‘Attar, Reprobate of His Age

Why would Farid al-Din ‘Attar, one of the most pious and moralistic Persian poets, call himself essentially the biggest scalawag of them all? The answer lies in the themes explored in the sonnet I’ve translated here for you. ‘Attar, Rumi, and other followers of the Sufi or Islamic Mystic tradition were really concerned with what … Continue reading

Verses Collected on the Occasion of the Vernal Equinox

Verses Collected on the Occasion of the Vernal Equinox

Do you like my Victorian-esque title? I thought it would bring some mock-stateliness to what is otherwise a very simple post. All that to say, Happy Persian New Year! Enjoy these spring-themed verses I have collected and translated from some of my favorite classical Persian poets.

Did you see a camel? No, you didn’t. (But Sa’di definitely did).

Did you see a camel? No, you didn’t. (But Sa’di definitely did).

“Did you see a camel? No, you didn’t.” Shotor dīdī, nadīdī. This clever little saying is the modern Iranian way to say, “You saw nothing.” Believe it or not, not all that much of Persian/Iranian literature has to do with the desert and camels, but it just so happens that the poem I translated this month does.