December 11, 2013

Farhad Showghi

Farhad Showghi (Czech Republic / Germany)

Born in Prague, in the Czech Republic in 1961, the poet Farhad Showghi grew up in Germany, moving with his father to Iran. In 1978 he returned to Germany, studying at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg Medical school, and receiving his doctorate of medice in 1992. He now works as a psychiatrist in Hamburg.
      In 1998 he published his first book of poetr , Die Walnußmaske, durch die die ich mich trämend aß (The walnut mask I ate through a dream). His second book of poetry, Ende des Stadplans (2003), was translated into English by Rosmarie Waldrop in 2014. Since then, he published a third volume, Die grosse Enfernung (The Great Distance) in 2008.
      Showghi has also written a book on medical psychiatry and translated the Iranian poet Ahmad Schanlou into German.
      The poet has won the Literature Prize of the Imgard-Heilmann Foundation and a literary award from the City of Hamburg, as well as receiving the 2003 prize of the Ingeborg Bachmann Competition in 2003. 
Die Walnußmaske, durh die ich mich trämend aß (Hamburg: 1998); Ende des Stadplans (Basel, Switzerland (Urs Engeler Editor, 2003); Die grosse Enfernung (Weil am Rhein, Germany: 2008)
End of the City Map, trans. by Rosmarie Waldrop (Providence, Rhode Island: Burning Deck, 2014)

From End of the City Map

Chestnut tree. Chestnut tree. There between the birches. Here A. And I. We’re walking. We’re not falling down. Summer light has proposed us to our shadow couple and the yarrow stem, now that the wind is turning. If we stick out from the globe, we stick out into the air along with the yarrow stem. The globe, here and there, far and wide. Even the palmtrees among us bend their fronds upwards. The apartment block is on the right, behind the birch trees. What do we want to hear? We do not know how many balconies make one cradle song. Above our eyes, a firm mouth humming. Rows of windowglass are present, soundless and long, very slowly their sunset traps snap shut. But we walk in shoes toward the yarrow stalk without always saying about ourselves: summer light has proposed us, we are shod, we stick out from the globe, into the air.


Chestnut tree. Even the sun reports when A. talks about the green of leaves. When she, when she sings, we haven’t cast a spell on the air, we just simply, simply sit here. We were shoes then, saw one another, an eye for an eye. But now, suddenly, quietly, we’re beset by feet. White feet, a mute fir fairy each. Almost windswept for once a foot, your foot, my foot, outside the house in lemur in the chestnut branches. Red is the South, the sky fries the flowers as it grows dark. We must go back and look under the shoes: we had a story of light stuck to the soles, not a coppice, not some humbug of sparkling stars.

Farhad Showghi, English language copyright ©2014 by Rosmarie Waldrop. Reprinted from End of the City Map (Providence, Rhode Island: Burning Deck, 2014).

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