Poets Against War-Winter Newsletter 2006

In this issue:

William O'Daly: A Winter Sun: Writing Against Torture
Part I: The State of Torture
Part II: Speaking Freely: Poetry, Torture, and Truth
Fady Joudah: The Name of the Place
Gary Lawless: In Memoriam, Nadia Anjuman
Majid Naficy: My Poem has the Scent of Nadia
Sam Hamill Director of Poets Against War

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My poem has the scent of Nadia

In memory of Nadia Anjuman

When I light the oven early morning

My bread looks like Dari poetry

I find its starter in my dreams

And I knead it between sleep and waking.

My wheat comes from the land of Toos

Where Ferdowsi spread its seeds,

And my poppy seeds from the valley of Yamgan

Where Naser Khosrow planted their roots,

And my oven pebbles from the banks of Amoo River

Where Roodaki called them soft as silk,

And my firewood from the grove of Balkh reeds

Where Rumi kept the fire of his love.


But when I take it out of the oven

It looks like a Sangak bread

Shaped as a Woman in her chadour,

Shouting voicelessly: "It's me,

The poet of 'Dark Flower,'

Ravaged by my step-husband in Herat."


My bread looks like Dari poetry

Perfumed with the scent of Nadia.

If you want it hot and fresh

Put your hand in the fire. [Persian text]

November 15, 2005  



* Dari Persian poetry began in the 9th century in the great Khorasan region. Today this area is divided among Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and some Turkish central Asian countries. The four classical Persian poets whose names are mentioned in the poem as well as Nadia Anjuman all come from that region.

Majid Naficy is a co-editor of the literary journal of "Iranian Writers' Association in Exile" and the author of more than twenty books in Persian. He fled Iran in 1983, one and a half years after the execution of his wife, Ezzat. He has published two collections of poems, "Muddy Shoes" (Beyond Baroque Books) and "Father and Son" (Red Hen Press), as well as his doctoral dissertation, "Modernism and Ideology in Persian Literature" (University Press of America) in English.

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