Tabatabai to read at Persian autumn celebration

Sassan TabatabaiOur own Prof. Sassan Tabatabai will be reading works from the Persian canon as well as his own poetry, at a celebration of Mehregan, a Persian harvest celebration, to be held this Thursday, October 7th. As many Core folks may already know, Prof. Tabatabai is a poet and translator whose work has appeared in a number of publications. He is the author of Father of Songs: Rudaki and his poetry (Rozenberg/Purdue U.P., 2008) and the forthcoming Uzunburun: Poems (Pen and Anvil Press, 2010). He also serves as Poetry Editor of The Republic of Letters.

His reading will be part of a larger evening of events sponsored by the Persian Students Association, and begins at 7 PM in the Faculty Dining Room at the GSU. For the price of admission — $7 at the door — attendees will experience Persian food, music and poetry.

The poem below, a Tabatabai original, appeared in the Spring 2010 issue of the Core journal.

“Garden of Eden”

Pink bougainvilleas climb the wall
behind the round table
where we always sit.
It is the bright tapestry that frames
our evening photos:
wine-weary eyes,
worry-less smiles.
It is the backdrop of our laughs.

By the window, red hibiscus
point their flutes at the sea.
They are trumpets of dawn
and open with the sun
to reveal points of golden pollen
that stain the shoulders of my shirts.

On the blue horizon, the seam disappears
between the Mediterranean and the sky.

The rosemary bush in the corner
attracts a flock of intoxicated
butterflies and bees,
oblivious to the stalking lizard
that like some diminutive dinosaur
is coiled to pounce on its prey.

Along the front gate,
jasmine and gardenias
pour forth pillars of perfume,
both upon greetings and farewell,
to this garden by the sea.