Forever Under Construction

It Is All Connected …

Posted in Books, Iran, Literature, Middle East, Persian literature, Poetry by homeyra on July 25, 2007

Selections from Saadi‘s Bustan
Introduction and sample poems

Translated by poet and essayist Richard Jeffrey Newman


Selections from Saadi‘s Gulistan
Introduction and sample poems

Whether you call the literature Iranian or Persian, it deserves and should command your attention, not only because the current political situation between the US and its allies and Iran makes it imperative that people throughout the world (though perhaps especially in the US) understand Iran and Iranians as much as possible, but because it is a worthy literature in its own right, confronting in important and complex ways, from at least the 10th century onward, the questions of identity and meaning that we all wrestle with, no matter what language we speak, where we live now or where we were born.” It Is All Connected



“Gathered together under the title “The Revolution Is What Made This Issue Possible”, the poems, stories and essays in this issue include works written – from outside Iran, inside Iran and the Academy – from the 10th through the 21st centuries …” more

Relevant links:
Richard Jeffrey Newman website and blog
ArteEast: Works of artists from the Middle East and its diaspora
The Translation Project: contemporary Persian literature
Persian Arts Festival, New York City


13 Responses

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  1. […] writes about new special feature in Artenews:”the revolution is what made this issue possible.” […]

  2. ressentiment said, on July 25, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    Pretty racy stuff, Homeyra. Thank you.

    Link repair needed in the first line of the Relevant links section- link to Newman’s _website_

    Homeyra: Thanks S 🙂 corrected

  3. Ann El Khoury said, on July 26, 2007 at 3:58 am

    Great stuff. Good to see the wonderful Persian literary masterpieces get out to a contemporary audience. I can’t get enough of Saadi, Rumi and Ferdowsi et. al. and I’m still a beginner with their work.

  4. 99 said, on July 26, 2007 at 9:59 am

    I would love to kiss you.
    The price of kissing is your life.
    Now my loving is running toward my life shouting,
    What a bargain! Let’s buy it!

  5. homeyra said, on July 26, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    I had a hunch that 99 would find something that suited her temper in all that:)

  6. Barefoot Laborer said, on July 27, 2007 at 12:46 am

    JUST JUMPING in the middle of some intellectual discussion & making a quick U-TURN (& why is it called U-turn? I should be Me-turn! Don’t U agree?) As usual I’m infatuated by ur post! 🙂 Keep on enlightening us! Thx! xoxoxo

  7. 99 said, on July 27, 2007 at 1:34 am

    I memorized that quatrain upon reading it the first time… about fifteen years ago. Rumi’s stuff, like most canonical bits of the true schools, is meant to speak on different levels. That quatrain is very attractive to many people, but when one works out its other meaning, it simply blows the mind clean out of its busybody. It’s intensely good stuff. And… well, beyond any doubt, the price of “kissing” IS, literally, your life.

  8. Richard Jeffrey Newman said, on July 27, 2007 at 11:18 am

    Thanks for the links, homeyra! Just so people know, the Gulistan is out of print. I will be posting a pdf, uncorrected-proof version on my website soon, but if anyone is interested in buying the actual book, they should contact Mehdi Faridzadeh, executive director of the International Society for Iranian Culture, at, and/or Parviz Morewedge, executive director of Global Scholarly Publications, at Let them know you are interested in buying the book and that you would like to see it reprinted. Also, anyone interested in buying the Bustan should email me directly,

  9. homeyra said, on July 27, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    Ann: This reminds me that a while ago your posts about Persian poetry inspired me to open the chapter in this blog.
    Barefoot: You are always welcome:)
    And I like your description 99, one can recognize “the canonical bits of true schools” in Rumi (and other Persian poets).
    Thank you Richard for the information above and also introducing “Master” Saadi, Ferdowsi and contemporary writers to a broader public.
    So far I have read both introductions and 3 articles in ArteNews. Will write to you later.

  10. Richard Jeffrey Newman said, on August 8, 2007 at 9:50 am


    You should know that I have been asked to remove from ArteNews the interview with Maryam Ala-Amjadi that you link to in this post. That will probably happen later today, so you might want to remove the link from the post. If you want more information about why I was asked to do this, please email me: richardjeffreynewman at

  11. homeyra said, on August 8, 2007 at 11:20 am

    Fine Richard. These days I have limited access to the web, will contact you later.

  12. […] Poet and essayist Richard Jeffrey Newman has translated a selection of Saadi’s Bustan and Golestan, see previous post: It is all connected […]

  13. […] Previous post: It is all connected […]

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