Monday, November 28, 2011

A poem by Hafiz, translated by Matthew Rohrer

It's pouring rain out
Let's get a drink

It's too muddy
to take a walk
Let's get a drink

Or you could bring some wine over
and some flowers

Because the bars are closed
even if you bang on the doors

The rain is beautiful
for about 5 minutes
and then it is annoying

your red lips
making a circle
replace the sun

If I'm lucky

In the mail yesterday, I found an envelope from Wave books. In it were about 15 printer pages stapled together. The cover page says TRANSLATIONS FROM HAFIZ. On each page is a short ghazal translated by Matthew Rohrer. There are 10 poems total. It doesn't come across here, but when you read several of the poems in succession, a distinct pattern emerges. This kind of lean musicality underpins what appear to be completely casual speech-acts. It's as though everyday-ness assumes a decalmatory posture in the poem. The effect is at once urgent and deliberate.

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