Notes and essays to the divan

But under them the sacred ftre continually smoldered. Scholars, too, will welcome these competent translations of poetry and notes together. He writes a brief segment entitled "Exchanging Flowers and Symbols," rather more extensive notes about a future Div an, and some brief comments about other scholars or travelers interested in this area.

The editors, publishers expert in translated poetry and fiction, summoned more than 50 poets, translators and scholars, commissioned new poems in English, Arabic, Farsi, Turkish and Slovenian, and asked English-language poets to make versions of them.

Five hundred years were to pass over the ashes of the ancient temples and altars. Martin Bidney, trans. Beautiful, certainly; troubling at times, particularly when one considers the traumas that the whole of the Middle East and North Africa has been going through in recent years.

Bill Swainson is a freelance editor and literary consultant. Based on this principle, with this constitution, the Persian mon- archy rose to the highest degree of power and happiness, but it was fmally run aground by the ambition of a neighboring, small, fragmented nation. Here we clearly grasp, once again, that a people may stand at a high moral-religious level, surround itself with splendor and pomp, and yet be counted among the barbarians with regard to the arts. A relentless conscription would make them all heroes at the first hint from the king. The Greeks brought to Persian soil their intention to repay the injuries inflicted on their religious worship. Here then we [Uld in the space of four hundred years the mythological prehistory of Persia, restored to a certain degree through poetic and prose accounts. In martial nations, however, this same state of affairs extends to in- clude the brief periods of peace. Would the seal-carver of the conquering Sassanids have been more skilled than the seal-carver of the conquered Emperor Valentinian []?

In the same way, through the efforts of knowledgeable writers, the poetic fairy tale quality of those remaining monuments was reduced, by and by, to historical prose. Since this religion leads, however, to contemplation, it could easily bring on a softness, just as the long, wide cloaks seem to indicate something feminine.

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So they burned and destroyed temples, thereby creating the very monuments that made them hated forever, for the Greeks decided in their wisdom that they would never re-erect the ruins out of the rubble, but let them ominously lie there to incite future revenge.

What is unusual about this translation is that all of the author's notes to accompany Goethe's Divan poems are also in poetry, creating an interesting dialectic between author and interpreter, expressed in different and mutually complementary kinds of poetry.

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Yet their religion still maintains itself here and there in its primary purity, even in miserable corners, as I have tried to convey in my poem, "Testament of the old Parsi" [Parsi Nameh, MA

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