Shahr-e-jaanaan: The City of the Beloved

Shahr-e-jaanaan: The City of the Beloved

by Adeeba Shahid Talukder


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Poetry. Asian & Asian American Studies. Winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize. SHAHR-E-JAANAAN sets out to recreate the universe of Urdu and Persian poetic tradition, its tropes both lenses and mirrors for the speaker's reality. As she maps her romances onto legends, directing their characters perform her own tragedy, their fantastical metaphors easily lend themselves to her fluctuating mental state. Cycling between delirious grandeur and wretched despair, she is torn between two selves--the pitiable lover continually rejected, and the cruel, unattainable beloved comparable in her exaltation to a god. SHAHR-E-JAANAAN explores, interrogates, and distorts these dichotomies and their symbolism, calling into question the forces that elevate some to divinity even as they damn others to injustice and oppression.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781946482297
Publisher: Tupelo Press
Publication date: 03/01/2020
Pages: 110
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Adeeba Shahid Talukder is a Pakistani American poet, singer, and translator of Urdu and Persian poetry. She is the author of What Is Not Beautiful (Glass Poetry Press, 2018) and her book SHAHR-E-JAANAAN: THE CITY OF THE BELOVED (Tupelo Press, 2020), is a winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize. Her poetry has appeared in Poem-A-Day, Gulf Coast, Meridian, The Margins, and elsewhere. A Best of the Net finalist and a Pushcart nominee, Adeeba holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan and is the recipient of an Emerging Poets Fellowship from Poets House.

Table of Contents

When in the dark/ my mind brightened 7

i The Wine Cup

The mosque an eyebrow, the tavern an eye 10

"The sky is moving, the sky is moving!" 11

Crossing Manhattan Bridge 12

Ammi 13

You're getting older, and there are such few boys. 14

ii The Nightingale

Quicksand 16

Farhad the Mountain Carver 18

Fanaa: End of Self 19

Hourglass 21

After eating her letter 22

Subh-e-firaaq: Morning of Separation 23

iii In Shackles

For Majnoon 26

The Holy Men 27

Mansur the Heretic 28

In Exile 29

The branch 30

For Qays 31

5 poems 32

If It Were 33

iv The Courtesan

Episode 36

The night of the fourteenth 37

On Courting Calamity 38

Because she could not 39

Asymptote 40

Ah! 42

Mumtaz Sahib of the Round Glasses 43

Kathak: The Dance of the Courtesans 46

v The Tearing

Of Water 50

To Heaven 51

A Robe of this World 52

The first three weeks of war 54

The coming of spring 55

For J.R. 56

When in the dark/ my mind brightened (revisited) 57

vi Shahr-e-jaanaan: The City of the Beloved

Shahr-e-jaanaan-The City of the Beloved 59

vii God vs. God

Mansur 74

God 75

The Plaintiff 76

The Beloved 77

The Scaffold's Branch 78

Idol 79

The Gods of the Age 80

viii The Water of Life

On Ghazal Poetry versus Natural Poetry 82

Exotica: Three Poems 83

God-shaped Woman 84

On Beauty 86

Mirror of the world 92

Acknowledgments 95

Notes 98

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