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by A. H. Afrasiabi

translated from the Persian by Niloufar Talebi

You’ve done well
Changing the table around,

Not because it was too big
For your little kitchen
Or that
Two of the four chairs
Were always

But because
Now you’ve fixed it
So this little table
Has only room for two.


Amir-Hossein Afrasiabi was born in 1934 in Esfahan, Iran. Poet, short-story writer, and critic, he has been living in the Netherlands since 1986. He started writing poetry as a child and is the author of six books of poetry in Persian as well as poems in Dutch. His Persian books are Autumn Words, With the Seagulls, Station, On the Way, More Words, and Until the Next Station. In language unusually fresh for his generation, Afrasiabi's poetry meditates on aging and memory.

Niloufar Talebi was born in London to Iranian parents. She took a BA in Comparative Literature from UC Irvine and an MFA in Writing from Bennington College. In 2002, she launched “The Translation Project” to bring contemporary Iranian literature to a worldwide audience. An Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Poetry in Diaspora, which she edited and translated, is forthcoming in 2007. (5/2006)

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