Load Poems Like Guns: Women's Poetry from Herat, Afghanistan

Load Poems Like Guns: Women's Poetry from Herat, Afghanistan

by Farzana Marie (Translator)


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“Load Poems Like Guns is an important book. It gives an eloquent and wrenching witness to voices from another place and another poetry: voices with a unique mix of formal power and personal pain. Eight Afghan women poets are eloquently translated here by Farzana Marie, including the tragic and luminously gifted Nadia Anjuman. This is a bilingual edition; the English and Dari are side by side, allowing us a glimpse of the mysterious and profound Persian poetic tradition. This is a book every poet and every reader of poetry should seek out. It amplifies our understanding. It broadens our sense of the identity of the poet. Above all, it makes available a rich and troubling narrative we need to hear.”—Eavan Boland, author of A Woman Without A Country (poems)

"This unique contribution fills a gap in our understanding of the Afghan people, their history and society. It is a must read."—Nancy Hatch Dupree, Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University

A groundbreaking collection of poetry by eight contemporary Afghan women poets in English translation en face with the original Persian Dari text. These poets live in Herat, the ancient epicenter of literature and the arts.

Frazana Marie is a Ph.D. candidate in Middle Eastern literature at the University of Arizona. She served as an active duty officer for over six years including two years of deployed service in Afghanistan. She is president of Civil Vision International, a nonprofit focusing on influencing international relationships.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780985981884
Publisher: Holy Cow! Press
Publication date: 04/07/2015
Pages: 184
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Farzana Marie is PhD candidate in Middle Eastern Literatures at the University of Arizona's School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies. Her research focuses on Persian literature, especially Afghan women's poetry. She also writes and translates poetry. She holds a B.S. in the Humanities from the U.S. Air Force Academy and an M.A. in English from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She served as an active duty officer for over six years, including two consecutive years of deployed service in Afghanistan (2010-2012), where she previously served as a volunteer teacher in Afghanistan orphanages (2003-2004). Farzana is the President of Civil Vision International, a non-profit charitable organization focused on positively influencing international relationships through connecting, informing, educating and inspiring citizens.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Transliteration System xii

Preface xv

Acknowledgments xix


Why Poetry? Why Herat? 1

Herat: A Brief History 6

Nadia Anjuman: Sketch of Her Life and Work 13

General Note on the Translations 31

Nadia Anjuman 35

Makes No Sense 38

Mountain, Sea 40

My Garden 42

Divine Beauty 44

Smoke-Bloom 46

Muzhgan Faramanesh 49

Ghazal 1 52

Ghazal 2 54

Quatrain 1 56

Quatrain 2 58

Quatrain 3 60

Quatrain 4 62

Fariba Haidari 65

Odor of Death 68

A Young Street-Vendor Thinks of Imported Goods 74

And Violet Tunes of Lawlessness 78

Nilufar Niksear 85

Ghazal 1 88

At Night in This Empty Neighborhood 90

Ghazal 2 92

Ghazal 3 94

Fereshta Nilab Sahel Noorzayi 97

But I Couldn't 100

These Days 102

Sincerity 104

Red Line 106

Farewell 108

Somava Ramesh 111

The Girl Who Sold God 114

And the Word Null 116

Another Looking Glass, Another Lie 118

Load Poems like Guns 120

For Nadia Anjuman 122

Elaha Sahel 125

Sinful Skirts 128

Ode to My Earrings 130

Rows of Pockmarked Homes 132

Didn't He Come Home? 134

A Canvas 136

Protest 138

Roya Sharifi 145

A Gamble 148

Fragrance of Dreams 150

Those Bleeding Tulips 152

Selected Bibliography 155

About the Author 163

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