Farsi Translation of a Poem “You Can’t Fake Wisdom” from Lance Jencks

You can’t Fake Wisdom

People don’t tell you
when they’re going to die:
they die, they’re gone; that’s it.
Now you’re left alone in a way
you weren’t before:
now your life goes on
without them. When
friends begin dying
you still put on your shoes,
and call people up for breakfast.
You realize things will be different
here-on-in: your surfing break fails,
won’t come back. No more steak…
maybe a steak once a year. Wisdom
is knowing what you cannot have:
it’s knowing how to shrink
with circumstance.

~ Lance Jencks‍

نمی توان خرد را فریفت

مردم به تو نمی گویند
کی دیده از جهان فرو خواهند بست
ناگهان می بینی رفته اند و دیگر نیستند
به همین سادگی
اکنون تو تنها مانده ای
به شیوه ای که قبلا چنین نبوده ای
حال زندگی ات بدون آنها ادامه دارد
وقتی دوستانت رو به مرگ و نیستی می کنند
تو هنوز هم کفشت را می پوشی،
و دیگران را برای صبحانه فرا می خوانی
تو می دانی که همه چیز متفاوت خواهد بود
از اینجا به بعد استراحت و گشت و گذارت کم می شود
دیگر ایام تفریحت برنمی گردد … دیگراستیک نمیخوری …
شاید یکبار در سال
آگاهیت میداند آنچه را که دیگرنخواهی داشت
او می داند که چگونه با سرنوشت افول کند

لانس  جنکس

“Saffron Flavored Rock Candy, Vol. I” is now released on Amazon.

Saffron Flavored Rock Candy Vol I, a bilingual anthology of short poems and haiku,  is now published. Congratulations to all poets who kindly submitted their poems and trusted in this project. My heartfelt appreciation to Mr.  Zaman and Mrs. Anooshka Khazaeie, the Afghan and Persian poets and translators, who kindly dedicated their precious time to translate the original poems. Their translations contain a wide range of beautiful words from both Afghan and Iranian dialects. A great appreciation goes to Ms. Seyedeh Masoumeh Hosseini, the Iranian artist, curator and illustrator, who contributed to this project with her beautiful design on the cover of the first volume. We all hope that this book reach a vast audience in Farsi speaking countries as well as in the US, Canada and UK, from where the poets contributed their wonderful poetry.

Agnieszka Filipek, Ann Christine Tabaka, Bipul Banerjee, Bob MacKenzie, Claudia Serea, Dan Bourget, David Allen Sullivan, Dick Holmes, Duane Vorhees, Elizabeth S. Wolf, Emma Lee, Geraldine Fernandez, Ivan M. Granger, Jay Gandhi, Joan McNerney, Jordan Trethewey, Lynn White, Mark Andrew Heathcote, Marion Clarke, Meg Freer.

Translators: Anooshka Khazaeie, Aimal Zaman
Illustrator: Seyedeh Masoumeh Hosseini

Editor: Soodabeh Saeidnia

You can purchase your copies from the link below or any other branch of amazon worldwide:






Update on the cover artwork, publishing date and accepted poems in “Saffron Flavored Rock Candy”

Dear Poets and contributors

The submission to the bilingual anthology, Saffron Flavored Rock Candy, is now closed. Here are the poets whose poems have been accepted (See below the picture). Please ignore any typo or misspelling here if any, since the galley proofs will send to your emails when all translations are ready.

The best estimation for publishing time would be around July-August 2019. Unfortunately, Amazon and Kindle Direct Publishing does not support some languages including Farsi unlike the previous Createspace which is now merged with Kindle. I would most probably work with another publishing platform to get the book together in paperback. I will let you update on it.

The cover artwork is now ready by the brilliant artist and Iranian lady curator, Masoomeh Sadat Hosseini. She pictured a “rhyton” which  is a roughly conical container from which fluids were intended to be drunk or to be poured in some ceremony such as libation, or merely at table. They are typically formed in the shape of an animal’s head, and were produced over large areas of ancient Persia.


1- Ivan M Granger

2- Umit Sener

3- Geraldine Fernandez

4- Phillip Jones

5- Silent Lotus

6- Agnieszka Filipek

7- Mark Heathcote

8- Sarah Entage

9- Bob Mackenzie

10- Rini Valentina

11- Tim Duncan

12- Meg Freer

13- Ton Romus

14- David Sullivan

15- Elizabeth Wolf

16- Lynn White

17- Morgan Driscoll

18- Scott Thomas Outlar

19- Stefan Bohdan

20- Sheikha A.

21- Rajinish Mishra

22- Dan Bourget

23- Bipul Banerjee

24- Michael Lee Johnson

25- Sandra Henry

26- Nancy Day

27- Jay Gandhi

28- Paul Brookes

29- Claudia Serea

30- Vincent Zepp

31- Emma Lee

32- Shirani Rajapaksi

33- Steven Denehan

34- Jordan Trethewey

35- Duane Vorheez

36- Marion Clarke

37- Christine Tabaka

Call For Submission: “Saffron Flavored Rock Candy” Vol I.

Dear Poets and Poetry Lovers

After successful publishing of the bilingual anthology “Persian Sugar in English Tea, Vol I, II, III”, it’s time to kick off another bilingual poetry project. We, the editors, appreciate the enthusiasm and kind/constructive feedback from the poets and photographers who trusted in our work and contributed. With that amazing experience, we can move forward.

Athough there are approximately 110 million Persian speakers worldwide, with the language holding official status in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, there is a limited number of translations since the 80s and those are only from very well-known international poets. We gather the contemporary and modern English poems from living poets (not from the society of dead poets!) and enjoy ourselves through the act of translation. We also share it with Farsi-speakers.

The title of the new project is “Saffron Flavored Rock Candy”. We would like to invite you, who write their poems in English, to submit 3-5 short poems (Maximum 26 lines) or 3-10 haiku or any other types of micro-poetry through the e-mail (soodabehsaeidnia@gmail.com). We are going to choose up to three poems of each poet and translate them to Persian in a poetic way. The final anthology will be published in Farsi and English. The theme ranges quite wide (nature, life, people, social issues, romance and so on) excluding anything erotic, political and religious. Due to limitation of space, we can accept up to 60 poets’. Therefore, if you are really interested in having your poems in one of the most beautiful languages in the world, please don’t exceed the deadline (March 30, 2019).

Instruction for contributors

1- Poems with lines longer than 26 and already published won’t be reviewed unless the poet holds the rights.

2- If the contributor holds all rights to republish a work, they SHOULD let us know where the poem was first published and we will add a note below the poem.

3- The English version of poems will remain the property of poets/contributors. They hold the copyright to send it for publishing elsewhere (just don’t forget to mention the name of the anthology there.)

4- Poets whose first language is English are in priority since the main goal of this anthology is to translate and introduce some good English poetry. We don’t have time to edit the English versions as translation itself is enough time-consuming.

5- Don’t submit your poems through FB messenger PLEASE. Only through email: soodabehsaeidnia@gmail.com, I will send a short response to confirm the submission later but you would be patient.

6- We prefer you copy/paste your poems into the body of your email than you attach a word file. Files may spread viruses.

7- Contributors are asked to send a short biography (Max 100 words) and a picture (optional). Kindly send the bio and pic along with your poems to avoid extra e-mailing.

8- The process of translation is time-consuming so the final anthology is expected to release sometime at the end of 2019.

9- I will keep in touch with poets during the process of translation, update and inform them whenever the galley proof is ready to check for production-born errors, and then when the book is alive on Amazon.

10- There is no book compensation and no free copy of the paper back. The contributors will receive a PDF file of the book free of charge upon request, and can (recommend to!) purchase some print copies through Amazon. I will do my best to keep the price lower than $15. The benefits of sale will be spent to promote more print copies to the Farsi-speaking countries through individuals/private libraries and friends.

Notes regarding the Vol I:

  • We are proud to have the companionship of the wonderful Iranian-Canadian poet “Anooshka Khazaeie” as a co-translator. You may find her poetry in the previous anthologies, the most recent is “Persian Sugar in English Tea, Vol III”.
  • The cover illustrator and curator is “Seyed Masoumeh Hosseini” whose wonderful illustration on the cover of “Persian Sugar in English Tea, Vol I” attracted many readers.



Can’t wait to read your wonderful poems!

Soodabeh Saeidnia,

The Project Manager and Editor in Chief

The Shahanshahnameh, an epic poetry collection by Ahmad Tabrizi


Recently, the Ahmad Tabrizi’s Shahanshahnameh has been edited for the first time by the editors, Mahshid Gohari kakhki and Javad Rashki, and published in December 2018 in Iran by Mahmoud Afshar Foundation & Sokhan publication.

In the Mongolian and Timurid era, writing the historical books flourished in Iran, and a large number of historical poems were composed in this period of time. The “Shahanshahnameh”, an epic-historical poetry, composed by Ahmad Tabrizi, is one of the collections written in the Sultan Abu Said’s court (8th century A.H.). In this poetry book, the stories of Genghis Khan, his ancestors and his successors have been narrated. The Shahanshahnameh, which was written in the style of Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, consists of 16,419 verses. This book has edited for the first time and published in december 2018 in Iran.

The only available copy of the Shahanshahnameh is kept in a single collection along with three other epic poetry books (No. Or. 2780) at the National Library in the United Kingdom. This collection contains 243 folios and respectively consists of four epics, the Garshapnama, the Shahanshahnameh, the Bahman-nama and the Kushnama. The Shahanshahnameh has 90 folios which were transcribed by the calligrapher “Muhammad-ibn-said-ibn-sad al-hafez al-Ghari”. The text of each page is transcribed in six columns with 33 lines per page.

It seems that the text of the Shahanshahnameh is perfectly completed and only the folio 43 is missing. The first and final pages and the colophon of the manuscript are also available. The name of the book and the scribe and also the date of completion of copying (14 Rajab 800 A.H.) is given in colophon.

The Shahanshahnameh is one of the first poetry books written in the period of the formation of the Persian historical epics and it is particularly important in many literary and historical aspects. One of the most eminent features of this work is the poet’s insistence on linguistic purism, distinguished his writing from the resembling texts. The Ahmad Tabrizi’s Shahanshahnameh is undoubtedly a unique collection in the Persian language because it is the first example of an independent text truly written in the pure Persian. Ahmad Tabrizi repeatedly claimed in his epopee that all of his work was composed in pure Persian and he avoided using non-Persian words in his poetry. This is how the poet attempted to show that the action had been entirely conscious and purposeful.

Ahmad Tabrizi composed his historical epic at the court of the Ilkhanate which mostly titled and ruled as Mongolian. At that time, Arabic language was still considered by the scholars and writers whose first language was Persian. The use of Arabic words was a sign of grace and knowledge for the authors. Turkish, Mongolian and Arabic vocabularies and compositions were frequently employed in other historical writing at that period of time. Although Tabrizi employed such writings as references in his poetry, he cleverly and seriously avoided extraneous words. Seemingly, the Tabrizi’s most important passion for composing such a great work rooted in the national motivation and an effort to preserve the Persian language. At that time, the Persian language was the only element of identity for Iranian culture which integrated the inhabitants of the Iranian plateau despite the ethnic diversity.

The Shahanshahnameh implies valuable historical aspects as well, providing useful and different information to readers. The most important part of the Shahanshahnameh from the historical point of view is a section about the events occurred two years after the Sultan Abu Said’s death, and the poet himself was watching and expounding those events.

The CD-ROM of the manuscript – made out of the Library of the British Museum (No. Or. 2780, the edition was previously kept there) – was presented to the editors in 2009. After the primary transcription of the manuscript in 2011, the process of correction began, and then the transcript was collated with the original version to clarify its ambiguities.

“One of the main problems in the correction process was the uniqueness of the manuscript. It was difficult to discover and understand some ambiguities, blurred words, illegibility, lacuna and the proper and precise location of some verses and titles. Consequently, the text needed to be collated repeatedly with the manuscript, and so the entire text was confronted with a high-quality original online version on the site of British Library. In addition, the lack of precision in recording the names of some individuals and places in such a great epic historical text added to its difficulty. In many cases knowing the correct form of a verse required an accurate understanding of the events historically. Eventually, the entire text was adapted (compared) to the historical books associated with each section,” said Mahshid Gohari, the main editor.

In the introduction, the manuscript and the poetry of Shahanshahnameh, the poet and some of the important linguistic, literary and artistic features of the work have been mentioned. Also, to demonstrate the poetic power of Ahmad Tabrizi and his imitation of other epic works, the Tabrizi’s Shahanshahnameh has been compared with the Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh in terms of linguistic characteristics, imagery and common motives, and how the Shahnameh’s characters were used in the Shahanshahnameh. At the end of the introduction, the orthography and the method of correction have been presented to guide the readers to better understanding of the text and more accurate using of footnotes and paralipomena.

In the paralipomena part of the book, the ambiguous verses and important historical points have been described. The paralipomena is a remarkable section of the present book as it describes the differences in recording of the names of places and people in various historical texts. It helps the reader to recognize the correct forms of the names. At the end of the book, a precise list of citation/quotation verses, names of places, people, tribes, clans and some special cases have been presented.

Mahshid Gohari was born in January (1979) in Iran. She received her Bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering from Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. But due to the serious interest in the Literature, she changed her field of study to the “Persian Language and Literature” to hold the Master degree from Ferdowsi University of Mashhad (FUM). Now, she is a PhD candidate in the above mentioned field at the same university. Her expertise is “Epic Literature” especially historical epics of the Ilkhani era. She is currently an instructor at FUM. Furthermore, she is interested in “Codicology” and correcting manuscripts in the Persian Literature. Recently, she has corrected the manuscript of the “Shahanshahnamah”, the historical epic collection by Ahmad Tabrizi. This book was published in December 2018 in Iran.

Poets Who Contributed to “Persian Sugar in English Tea”: James Walton


James Walton is an Australian poet published in newspapers, and many journals, and anthologies. Short listed twice for the ACU National Literature Prize, a double prize winner in the MPU International Poetry Prize, Specially Commended in The Welsh Poetry Competition – his collection ‘The Leviathan’s Apprentice’ was published in 2015.

He contributed with two poems “I don’t know what to say” and “Into the Wilderness” to the first volume of the bilingual anthology. Below you can find the translation of his poems in Farsi:

Into the Wilderness

we lived without time then

when Lake St Clair blew to waves


that cabin luxury for us

wood table and chairs

the bunk off the floor


I was reading

Crime and Punishment

too young for temptation


we loved each other

no regret beneath our tan lines


in those days I could eat

a whole loaf and honey


the visiting heron had no song

in the rounds of its silent joy

just the thwack of happiness


you said I should read

The Ginger Man

while holding Jean-Paul’s trilogy

  با طبیعت

ما بی زمان زندگی کردیم

وقتی که دریاچه موج ها را می آشفت

آن اطاقک برای ما مجلل بود

با میز و صندلی چوبی

و تخت خواب کوچکش

من “جنایت و مکافات” را می خواندم

و جوانتر از آن بودم

که وسوسه شوم

ما عاشق یکدیگربودیم

از آفتاب سوختگی هراسی نداشتیم

در آن روزها من می توانستم

یک قرص کامل نان را با عسل بخورم

حواصیل خاموشی که به دیدارمان می آمد

بی صدا شادمانی می کرد

فقط صدای ریزش شادی بگوش می رسید

تو گفتی

باید “مرد زنجبیلی” را بخوانم

در حالی که سه گانه ژان پل را در دست داشتی

A Quick Review on “LOVE’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY: THE ENDS OF LOVE” by Duane Vorhees’


LOVE’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY: THE ENDS OF LOVE, selections from ‘The Many Loves of Duane Vorhees’

The above mentioned book, published by Hawakal Publishers, Kolkata (2018), is a collection of love poems highlighted in 4 sections, Prologue, Beth, Jenny and Yeobo in 64 pages. In the beginning, the author started with a poem “Either Alzheimer’s or the lightning bolt” as if he declared that the end of love does and doesn’t mean ‘the end’ at the same time. It speaks of romantic and anti-romantic relationships:

“The ends of love

are but two

: your V8 plunges from the surface

and, crucified like a butterfly in time,

helpless consciousness heightened,

you hover in slow motion witness

to the juggernaut earth’s decay …”

The author described himself as a scholar, professor, performer, actor, model, journalist (dish washer, truck driver, lifeguard, door-to-door salesman, laborer…), and poet. Undoubtedly, his exceptional and adventurous life experience is glowing through the lines here and there, where beautiful metaphors take the reader’s imagination to watch a wonderful dream movie on the mind screen. The below lines from “Ah! Nights” are one of a kind:

“you were queen of the hive

and I a drone among the honeys

getting a buzz on and doing my job

plunging among the dusky clover

trying to pollinate the skies

to flower the night with stars.

To lose my only stinger would be to die -”

“Without You Beth” is talking about the tragic moments that may happen in everybody’s journey of life when they have to bow to death since they have no choice but let their loves go “Death./ Abyss-dropped coffin. /Everyone wept ….”

The word choice in “Mushrooming” is benevolently clever. “sAVAnnA” is an eye-catching visual art, and an odd and simply sophisticated poem of this book. “no one has ever noted for eternity …” and “none has ever praised” take the mind to the deeper layer when it comes to read Atoll. Perhaps the narrative in “For Love” isn’t a man like “Many a man has decayed and gone to bugs—but not for love.” The Beast is an amalgamation of darkest desires and finest sentiments, flowing as smooth and mesmerizing as water drops:

“I love your body’s several smiles

as I press my name on all your mouths.

I love the way your body smiles

in some of your most surprising places.”

Confession at the end of the book reveals that the poet has spoken with different voices. This isn’t simply a collection of love poems as the author stepped in the other levels of relationships. “Take Me In” has intriguing rhythm and beat in a way that the reader finds him/herself to whisper it or recite it load.

I am really pleased and delighted to have a chance to get my hands on these amazing poems. For me, every line of the book makes sense and fills my heart with both joy and grief which are two sides of the love sword. I highly recommend my friends and students read this book and let their imagination fly across the land of love.

Poets Who Contributed to “Persian Sugar in English Tea”: Draevnn Motkova

Draevnn Motkova is a poet and author who strives to translate emotions of the heart to the written word. 


Draevnn Motkova


Words written on the heart can never be erased

words spoken can never be unheard,

even when I am old and can no longer listen

promises of love can not be taken back,

but they can be poisoned from existence.

Poisoned the pollutant wipes away dreams of youth, of future.

What we do from this point is history, yet determined,

images of us to be drawn on the sheet of life,

once scratched to reality we only live the

visions of love bled from our hearts.

Henceforth life will record us to life.


از این پس

دراون موتکووا

واژگانی که بر دلها نوشته شود، هرگز پاک نمی گردد

کلماتی که بیان شوند، هرگز ناشنیده نمی مانند

حتی زمانی که من پیر و ناشنوا شوم

وعده های عشق دیگر باز نمی گردند

چه بسا مسموم شوند از حضور

آنچه عشق را بیالاید، رویاهای جوانی و آینده را از میان می برد

آنچه ما انجام می دهیم، از این پس به تاریخ می پیوندد

تصاویری از ما در ورق زندگی ترسیم می شود –

که با واقعیت زندگی خراشده می گردد –

این واقعیت که ما با خون دلهایمان به عشق می نگریم

از این پس، این زندگی است که ما را ثبت می کند

Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Soodabeh Saeidnia

So pleased and grateful for the interview with the poet and editor, Paul Brookes. I had fun talking to him and answering his questions.

The Wombwell Rainbow

Wombwell Rainbow Interviews

I am honoured and privileged that the following poets, local, national and international have agreed to be interviewed by me. I gave the writers two options: an emailed list of questions or a more fluid interview via messenger.
The usual ground is covered about motivation, daily routines and work ethic, but some surprises too. Some of these poets you may know, others may be new to you. I hope you enjoy the experience as much as I do.

Soodabeh Saeidnia

According to Amazon “Soodabeh lives in Queens, NYC. She got her Pharm D and PhD of Pharmacognosy and has worked as a researcher, assistant and associate professor in the Kyoto University (Japan), TUMS (Iran) and University of Saskatchewan (Canada). She writes in English and Farsi. Her English poems have been published in different anthologies and literary magazines including Careless Embrace of the Boneshaker (GWFM) Squawk Back, Indiana…

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Poets Who Contributed to “Persian Sugar in English Tea”: Kathy Lundy Derengowski

Kathy Lundy Derengowski is a native of San Diego county. She is an active member and co-facilitator of the “Lake San Marcos Writer’s Workshop”. Her work has appeared in Summation, the ekphrasis anthology of the Escondido Arts Partnership, California Quarterly, Silver Birch Press, Turtle Light Press and the Journal of Modern Poetry. She has won awards from the California State Poetry Society and  been a finalist in the San Diego book Awards poetry chapbook category. She has been featured as a guest blogger on Trish Hopkinson’s A Selfish Poet blog.

She contributed with a sonnet to the third volume of the bilingual anthology, Persian Sugar in English Tea. You can hear the translation of the poem on the link below: 

The Hunted – a Sonnet

Kathy Lundy Derengowski


In love with love, I was your easy prey

Quick to believe your coaxing and your charms

Swiftly I fell, too late to run away

Lost in the strong embraces of your arms


I was the quarry, caught within a net

woven of words designed to court and woo

seduced to play the role of Juliet

I was convinced that every word was true.


I was no more than trophy on your wall

merely a day’s distraction, nothing more

Nothing to you – to me was all, and all

My only hope of life worth living for.


These are the facts, and all the details of

cruel heartbreak and my love affair, with love.

صید – غزل واره

کتی لاندی درنگووسکی

عاشق عشق بودم، صیدی آسان برایت

چه زود باور کردم وسوسه ی فریبنده ات را

شتابان فرو افتادم، نه فرصتی برای گریختن

گم شدم در آغوش توانمندت

معدن جواهری بودم که در دام افتاد

در تور واژگانی از خواستگاری و ترقیب

مسحور بازی در نقش لیلی

حقیقت هر واژه ات را باور داشتم

ولی من بیش از جامی بر دیوارت نبودم

و نه چیزی بیش از سرگرمی یکروزه ات

برای تو هیچ، برای من همه چیز

تنها امید به زندگی، ارزش زیستن را دارد

حقایق چنین اند از دل شکستنی بی رحمانه

و صمیمیت ام با عشق