Letter
by Hasan Alizadeh

Translated by Rebecca Ruth Gould and Kayvan Tahmasebian
 
Here
in this bright room in the inn
I’m happy you’re not here with me anymore.

The landscape of the sea is bluer than
your earrings
& the forest
is an emerald wave
& the air’s skin
is moist & fragile
& a seagull sits
every morning at the window. There is no anxiety
& your eyes
fade in my mind
like boats receding
perpetually from the dark beach—
slowly coldly lightly.
Without scuffle,
without bloodshed.
Everything is fine, fresh & tired
& it’s so sweet to sleep until morning
when again the shadow of a seagull hovers at the window,
like the moth-eaten cypress in that scene in Ithaka—
I was kidding:
I’m happy you’re not here with me anymore.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 23, Issue 3.

Hasan AlizadehHasan Alizadeh (b. 1947, Mashhad, Iran) has left a poetic signature on modern Persian poetry distinguished by lyricism and colloquialism. Alizadeh embarked on a literary career initially as a short story writer, and cultivated his writing talents alongside the notable Iranian novelists Reza Daneshvar and Ghazaleh Alizadeh in the literary circle that developed in their hometown of Mashhad. Since the early 1990s, Alizadeh has focused on poetry. In Alizadeh’s poems, a labyrinthine memory, structured by the intricate architecture of old Iranian bazaars and mosques, continually revises itself in spontaneous narrations of love and death.
 
Rebecca Ruth GouldRebecca Ruth Gould’s translations include The Prose of the Mountains: Tales of the Caucasus (2015) and After and the Days Disappear: Ghazals and Other Poems Hasan Sijzi of Delhi (2016), and, with Kayvan Tahmasebian, High Tide of the Eyes: Poems by Bijan Elahi (2019). She teaches at the University of Birmingham and is the author of Writers and Rebels: The Literature of Insurgency in the Caucasus (2016) and The Persian Prison Poem: Sovereignty and the Political Imagination (2021). Her website
 
Kayvan TahmasebianKayvan Tahmasebian is an Iranian poet, translator, and critic who was born and raised in Isfahan. He is the author of Isfahan’s Mold (2016), on the short story writer Bahram Sadeqi, and Lecture on Fear and Other Poems (2019). Tahmasebian has also translated Beckett, Rimbaud, T. S. Eliot, Ponge, and Mallarmé into Persian. He is currently a Marie-Curie Fellow at the University of Birmingham, and Principal Investigator of Transmodern, a Horizon 2020-funded project on the position of translated literature within modern Iranian literary theory. His work has appeared in or is forthcoming in New Literary HistoryModernism/Modernity, and Twentieth Century Literature.

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