The Same Events

My headscarf has flowered in corners of the sky
I divine the future through clouds
I decipher folds in the moon’s face
time and again
she has lent her heart to a meteor shower

I rust behind the window
I paint
the last leaves of the plane tree
on a winter garden

My ice melts
down the drainpipe, filled with the sound of snow
I shriek from the rooftop

Between my eyebrows, a birthmark,
from which divination of full moons
predict the same events
that I decipher
I have not been enamoured of winter after winter
reading the newspaper behind the window
it warms in my teacup or otherwise
with ice
I divine the future through clouds.

by Farzaneh Ghavami

The poet Patience Agbabi, a Poetry Centre Creative Writing Fellow, will be giving a free reading at Pembroke College in Oxford on Friday 3 May at 7.30pm. This will be a preview of her forthcoming versions of The Canterbury Tales which are being published by Canongate in April 2014. All are welcome. More details can be obtained from the Poetry Centre’s Facebook page.

‘The Same Events’ by Farzaneh Ghavami, translated by John Kinsella and Ali Alizadeh, is copyright © Farzaneh Ghavami, 2012. It is reprinted by permission of Arc Publications from Six Vowels and Twenty-three Consonants: An Anthology of Persian Poetry from Rudaki to Langroodi , selected and edited by John Kinsella and Ali Alizadeh (Arc Publications 2012).

Notes from Arc Publications:

Farzaneh Ghavami was born in Tehran in 1968. She has several poetry collections published.

Six Vowels and Twenty-three Consonants is a groundbreaking new collection of poems presenting the wealth of poetic voices from one of the world’s most important literary cultures. The book covers poetry from the early Middle Ages to the Modernists and Postmodernists of the 20th and 21st centuries. You can read more poems from the book at Arc’s site here.

Since it was founded in 1969, Arc Publications has adhered to its fundamental principles – to introduce the best of new talent to a UK readership, including voices from overseas that would otherwise remain unheard in this country, and to remain at the cutting edge of contemporary poetry. Arc also has a music imprint, Arc Music, for the publication of books about music and musicians. As well as its page on Facebook, you can find Arc on Twitter; search for @Arc_Poetry. Visit Arc’s website to join the publisher’s mailing list, and to find full details of all publications and writers. Arc offers a 10% discount on all books purchased from the website (except Collectors’ Corner titles). Postage and packing is free within the UK.

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