Persephone

September 8, 2021
A photograph of dark crimson pomegranate seeds delicately laid out on snow
Photo by valkrye131 / Flickr

I kiss her
& death
is the shadow of that loving bird
shaking
on the pool
yet
when she turns to look
it has flown.

*

She’s gone,
sleepwalking
with her kisses
cold.

*

Only
a trace of her voice
is left
—those red pomegranate seeds—
on the snow.

Translation from the Persian

Iranian poet Hasan Alizadeh was born in the northeastern Iranian city of Mashhad in 1947. His poem “Terraces” was featured in Poetry Daily, translated by Kayvan Tahmasebian and Rebecca Ruth Gould. Other poems have appeared in English in West Branch, Malahat Review, and Modern Poetry in Translation. House Arrest: Poems of Hasan Alizadeh (Arc Publications, 2022) will be the first translation of his poems into English. A reading from the manuscript of House Arrest can be viewed here.

Kayvan Tahmasebian is a writer and researcher in comparative literary theory and criticism. He is the author of Isfahan’s Mold (2016). His research interests range across textual materialism, constellations of world literature, and poetics of contingency. He also translates poetry from English and French into Persian, and from Persian into English. Read more about his work at Academia.edu.

Rebecca Ruth Gould is the author of the poetry collections Beautiful English (2021) and Cityscapes (2019). She translates from Persian, Russian, and Georgian. Her next translation, with Kayvan Tahmasebian, is House Arrest: Poems of Hasan Alizadeh (Arc Publications, 2022).

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