Monday, 15 April 2013

Ziba Karbassi - Poet

Ziba Karbassi was born in Tabriz, northwestern Iran in 1974. She fled her country in the 1980's and, accompanied by her mother moved to London. She commutes between London and Paris where she now lives. She has published ten books of poetry in Persian, Ziba is widely regarded as the most accomplished Persian poet of her generation. Her poetry is tough, uncompromising  dense and challenging. It is edgy stuff and even if you are unable to understand the words the emotions they carry have a weight that resonates. She is new to me but has been read widely across Europe and America. Her poems have appeared in many languages throughout Europe, the UK and US and have that quality shared by the old beat poets and punk. It is visceral stuff.

By: Ziba Karbassi
Translated from Persian by Shirindokht Nourmanesh

And you—the innocent, virtuous, and chaste ladies
with your bent necks
and your effeminate walk
with your precious thousand-year chokers of stillness,
you are indeed right,
I am a whore.
And certainly this sun too
is peeking out from underneath your skirts
on my paper.

Love Is The Colour of Lemon

If you take away this pink veil from my face
love is the lemon colour that lemon-limps its
way to the tangerine sun
Eyelashes and neck
Eyelashes cockeyed and neck skew-whiffed
Crooked into your shoulder-nooks
That seem like children’s doodle-drawn homes
My head is craned down to your cranny bone
We are stood two crazed souls in each other
Stood neck to neck
Shoulder to shudder
Eyelashes and neck just there
Craned round again in the whorl of hot bone
And your eyes that kissing-kissed wet my lips
And your eyes that wet the kisses of my other lip
Your eye that plunges its furrow until we can’t see
Fused in the voice and rapture of it
Come, come if you take the pink slowly from here
Love is this lemon colour that oh lemon-limps bitter
then leaps to the tangerine womb

aNOtHEr tWo fiNGerS tO THe bIShoPs oF biGOtrY.

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