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Contributions by Hafez:

“Ghazal 17” (English)

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Collaborators’ Q&A: Translator Roger Sedarat: So often when those unfamiliar with the practice of translation speak about a text rendered into another language, they tend to zero in on fidelity to the original. That’s a natural and completely valid response. Literary translators know, however, getting close to meaning is the barest beginning of re-creating the spirit of the text. Artist Lisa Sette: I feel like both visual responses are elemental—air and fire. Both feel like they generate energy or heat that go towards the sky or heavens.

Poet Hafez, one of the classical masters of Persian poetry, was born in Shiraz, Iran, in the early 14th century. Translator Roger Sedarat is the author of two poetry collections, Dear Regime: Letters to the Islamic Republic (Ohio UP, 2007) and Ghazal Games (Ohio UP, 2011). Artist Lisa Sette is a biologist who works on Cape Cod.

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“Ghazal 17” (Persian)

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Collaborators’ Q&A What is it like to see both visual responses to the poem? Translator Roger Sedarat: The texture of the original source text slowed me down and actually got me looking at the Persian a little differently. The real difference, however, proved the flaming art behind the translation. I sort of credit my own imagination around the fire Hafez reiterates as getting the job done. However, seeing the poem itself house fire does make …

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