Iran ✿ Poetry in limbo


13 May 2020

Prior to the lockdown, we were separated from Iran because of US sanctions. Now we are all separated from the world, it’s time to come together and hear how Iranians are coping—Well, thanks to poetry.

Afsaneh Modiramani is a weaver based in Tehran. Her work is inspired by the world of her city and the nature beyond.

I always inspiration from poems and my weaves are like a canvas for painting. In these weaves sometimes the repetition of a regular pattern with the elongation of the strings reflects the movement of the cars and their people. (See the original Instagram post)

Afsaneh was one of the participants in our Ring Around Iran on 12 May 2020. During this, she read the poem that inspired her work.

Afsaneh Modirimani, Under the Big Wall of the City, 2020

Under The Big Wall Of The City

زیر دیوار بزرگ شهر…

در نخستین ساعت شب، دور از دیدار بسیار آشنا من نیز

در غم ناراحتی های کسانم؛

همچنانی کان زن چینی

بر زبان اندیشه های دلگزایی حرف می راند،

من سرودی آشنا را می کن در گوش

من دمی از فکر بهبودی تنها ماندگان در خانه هاشان نیستم


وسراسر هيكل ديوارها در پيش چشم التهاب من نمايانند


نيما يوشيج


… In the first hour of the night, away from my very familiar meeting

In the grief of my sorrows;

Also a Chinese woman

In the language of thoughts

Heartbreak speaks,

I hear a familiar song in my ear

I am not silent about the idea of recovery for those who are left alone in their homes

And all over the body, the walls in front of my eyes are inflamed,


Nima Youshi / Winter 1952

At the end of our Ring Around, Nargues Teimouri recited a poem by Saadi from the thirteenth century:

بنی‌آدم اعضای یک پیکرند

که در آفرينش ز یک گوهرندچو عضوى به‌درد آورَد روزگار

دگر عضوها را نمانَد قرارتو کز محنت دیگران بی‌غمی

نشاید که نامت نهند آدمی

The literal translation of the above is as follows:

“Human beings are members of a whole since in their creation they are of one essence. When the conditions of the time bring a member (limb) to pain, the other members (limbs) will suffer from discomfort. You, who are indifferent to the misery of others, it is not fitting that they should call you a human being.”

You can hear from some of our Iranian friends here, featuring Afsaneh Modiramani (weaver, Tehran), Anahita Anasseri (teacher and jeweller, Iran), Kambiz Gohari (Assistant Professor in Sistan-Baluchistan University, Iran), Mahnaz Ekhtiary (textile artist, Iran), Missy Saleeba (entrepreneur, Melbourne), Narges Teimouri (culture specialist, Masshad), Reihane Raei (jeweller, Tehran) and Shahrzad Aliari (jeweller, Iran).



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