Interview with Soodabeh Saeidnia

Thanks MadnessMusePress and the editor Adam Levon Brown for the interview.

Madness Muse Press

Q: When did you start writing?

A: First of all, thank you so much Adam for inviting and having me in this interview with the great Madness Muse Press. I’ve been writing poetry in Farsi since I was a happy 12-year old girl. Perhaps poetry runs in my family as my father is a poet and my uncle was. The education, research and teaching in Pharmaceutical Sciences made me learn scientific writing in English during the time I studied and worked at schools. Then a turning point happened in my life, IMMIGRATION, and suddenly I found my poetry nonsense for the people who didn’t know my language and culture. I had no choice but writing my poems in English. So If your question is when I started writing English poems, the accurate answer is 40!

 

Q: Who are your biggest inspirations/your favorite writers?

A: They were different depends on…

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Poets Who Contributed to “Persian Sugar in English Tea”: Silent Lotus

Descending from grandparents who travelled from homes in Hungary and Russia, silent lotus was born in America. He was raised in the small, unique community of Roosevelt, N.J, which was designed in the Bauhaus style in 1936 and was home to many renowned people in the arts. In his mid twenties he left for the island of St Maarten in the Caribbean to give priority to his talents as a visual artist.
Almost two years later, as crew of a 30 meter sailboat, he ventured across the Atlantic Ocean. From the Mediterranean he travelled overland through Europe and settled in the city of Rotterdam in the late 1970s. Under his birth name Chasan, he exhibited his paintings in galleries and museums. The oeuvre of his work he titled ‘Icons of Silence’ and one of these Icons’ was selected by a Tibetan Lama for the cover of a book about Bardo.
Inner silence became a pattern of growth present in him. His path, while including many continents, has been without a physical teacher or ashram. Somewhat similar has been the life of his brother, residing now for many years in India. While they share many interests perhaps one of the most beautiful is that sensitivity as healers.
‘Spiritual Sensitive Synthesis’ is how silent lotus refers to that which he has to offer to others. It is a gentle, loving presence. He feels that his highest example that can be expressed is truth and unconditional love in your own being.

(Taken from: https://www.poetseers.org/spiritual-and-devotional-poets/contemp/silent/index.html)

Silent contributed with four poems to the second volume of the anthology. “The Messiah Morning” is one of a kind you can listen to its translation in Farsi on the link below:

A Messiah Morning-300-7H

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poets Who Contributed to “Persian Sugar in English Tea”: James D. Casey IV

 

James D. Casey IV is a self-published author of three volumes of poetry, “Metaphorically Esoteric,” “Dark Days inside the Light While Drunk on Wine,” and “Tin Foil Hats & Hadacol Coins”. His work has also been published both in print and online by several small press venues including Triadæ Magazine, Pink Litter, In Between Hangovers, Indiana Voice Journal, Beatnik Cowboy, Dissident Voice, Scarlet Leaf Review, Horror Sleaze Trash, Zombie Logic Review, Your One Phone Call, I am not a Silent Poet, Tuck Magazine, and Outlaw Poetry to name a handful. Links to his books, social network profiles, and other projects can be found on his website:
http://louisianakingcasey.wixsite.com/big-skull-poetry

James contributed with three heart-catching poems to the first volume of the anthology, yhttps://soundcloud.com/soodabeh-saeidnia/walking-in-slumberou can find one of them below, Walking in Slumber, recited in Farsi:

Dead Man’s Shoes
James D. Casey IV

I miss your wicked ways
Build me up
Break me down

Nothing left
Take my hand

By the river
Dancing alone
Cold with no music

Inside your head
The records play

Pleasing ghosts
Sing their song
Masked faces all around

Shuffle in
Shuffle out

We see the future
Thinking of the past
With Adam and Eve eyes

As you dance
In a dead man’s shoes

کفش های مرد مرده

دلم برای شرارت های تو تنگ شده
اینکه مرا بسازی
و دوباره خرابم کنی

هیچ چیزی باقی نمانده
دستم را بگیر

در کنار رود
به تنهایی رقصانی
بی هیچ موسیقی

در درون خیالت
آهنگها می نوازند

ارواح با صورتکهایی بر چهره
در همه سویت التماس می کنند
که آوازشان را بخوانی

بهم بریز
به درون و به بیرون

آینده را می بینیم
که با چشم های آدم و حوا
به گذشته می اندیشد

همانطور که تو
با کفشهای یک مرد مرده می رقصی

 

 

 

Poets Who Contributed to “Persian Sugar in English Tea”: Aimal Zaman

Aimal Zaman is a bilingual poet from Nangarhar, Afghanistan. He has majored in Diplomacy and Public Administration from the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences at Nangarhar University. He also studied English Language for Academic Purposes at the University of Canberra, Australia. Aimal writes poems in both English and Persian languages. A number of his poems have been published in the anthologies, Voice of Monarch Butterflies (Middle Eastern Anthology by Ten Poets from Ganges to Nile) and Apple Fruits of an Old Oak which are alive on Amazon. He is also the co-translator and co-editor of “Where Are You From? A Bilingual Anthology in English and Persian” and the present anthology.

Aimal contributed to the second volume of the anthology with four lovely short poems; among them “My Fears and Me” was recited in English by Scott Thomas Outlar (on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYlxSy3yR78). Here you can find the Farsi reciting of his poetry.

My Fears and Me

I never liked

empty gardens,

silence of the backyards,

finials,

and interpretation of innocent dreams.

I am sorry if

I coughed

while you were smiling at me!

You were speaking of Aasi*,

I was bringing up Marx.

You were talking of a dove nest,

I was pointing out a dusty, bent sunflower.

You were admiring rain,

the scent of autumnal clouds,

rainbow, lotus, peacock pansy.

All that time,

I was hiding my heart

in my hands,

to keep it from breaking.

*Aasi (Ab. Qahar Aasi) a contemporary Afghan poet who was killed during the war in 1990s, Kabul.

“Nobody In The Box” is available on Amazon

A small illustrated poem-fable, Nobody In the Box, is available on amazon as a Kindle book. The illustrations have been created by my Iranian lady friend, Masoumeh Hosseini, whose beautiful artwork appeared on the cover of “Persian Sugar in English Tea, Vol I”. The kindle contains the poem in both Farsi and English.
The image on the cover is the word ” هیچ ” which means “Nothing or None” in Farsi. Masoumeh, wonderfully personified the word with her creation.
My sincere appreciation to Jefferson Carter, the poet and editor from Tucson who kindly edited the English version of the poem.

During the year Masoumeh was working on the images, she kept constantly in touch with me to figure out how to present a “Nobody” character which is supposed not exist! She asked me the Farsi version of the poem to better connect with it as the mother tongue. There are moments in the poem that “Nobody” goes through different emotions and feelings, a journey from nothing to existence, and she told me she cried and laughed with “Nobody”! I adore her creative talent and hardwork.

Cover-JPEG

Poets Who Contributed to “Persian Sugar in English Tea”: David Lawton

David Lawton is the author of Sharp Blue Stream (Three Rooms Press), and has had his work published in numerous journals and anthologies. David is a graduate of the theatre program at Boston University, where he was also a Guest Artist in the graduate play writing classes taught by Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott. For ten years he was a background vocalist in the New York underground band Leisure Class. At the band’s de facto headquarters in the Chelsea Hotel, he befriended Beat godfather Herbert Huncke and San Francisco poet Marty Matz, and was inspired by their embodiment of the written word. David also serves as an editor for greatweatherforMEDIA, and collaborates with poet Aimee Herman in the poemusic collective Hydrogen Junkbox.

His collection of poetry is available on amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Sharp-Blue-Stream-David-Lawton/dp/0988400863

David Lawton-book

David contributed with two poems to the second volume of the bilingual anthology, Persian Sugar in English Tea, of which “Snow” is simply a lovely experience of a snowy day. You can find it here with its Farsi translation and recitation.

Snow
David Lawton

When the snow comes down
Out of the glaring city sky
It is like a miracle
That in this place of concrete and steel
Mechanized and motorized
Technological and virtual
Something so organically pure
Can override everything
Can blot out the ugly and banal
Can stop us in our hustling tracks

The snow redresses us
Places us in a Mighty Mac state of grace
Where we can make ourselves an ascendant angel
Throw our global frustrations away, relatively harmlessly
Build ourselves an endlessly smiling friend
Until it all melts away into memory

The snow is like a miracle, that is
Unless you are the person shoveling.

برف
دیوید لاوتون

وقتی که برف
برفراز آسمان پرشکوه شهر می بارد
بیشتر شبیه معجزه است
چگونه در چنین مکانی،
که از بتن و فولاد بنا شده،
مکانی مکانیزه و ماشینی،
مجازی و مملو از فن آوری،
چیزی چنین پاک و بی آلایش وجود دارد
که می تواند همه چیز را بپوشاند
می تواند زشتی و ملالت را از میان بردارد
می تواند ما را در عبور اجباریمان متوقف کند

برف ما را تسکین می دهد
و به مکانی رویایی و شکوهمند می برد
جایی که می توانیم در آن همچون فرشتگان صعود کنیم
ستیزه های خسته کننده این جهان را دور بریزیم
و از خود دوستی بیافرینیم با لبخندی تمام نشدنی
تا زمانی که همه برفها آب شده و به خاطره بپیوندد

برف همچون معجزه است، و البته چنین است
مگر اینکه تو آن کسی باشی که پارو می کند