The Oasis of Now is the first U.S. book publication of the works of Sohrab Sepehri (1928–1980), one of the major Iranian poets of the twentieth century. Well-versed in Buddhism, mysticism, and Western traditions, Sepehri mingled Western concepts with Eastern ones, creating a poetry unsurpassed in the history of Persian literature. In Iran, his Persian verses are often recited in public gatherings and lines from them were used as slogans by the protesters in 2009. This first full-length American volume collects poems from three of Sepehri's most important books, including the highly acclaimed Water's Footfall.
Water, even bluer!
I am on the veranda, Rana by the pond in the garden.
She is washing clothes.
Leaves are trickling down.
“What a sad season,” my mother said this morning.
I responded, “Life is an apple best eaten unpeeled.”
Our neighbor weaves at her window, humming a soft tune.
I am reading the Vedas,
sketching pebbles, birds, clouds—
nasturtiums burst into blossom.
And me, cracking open a pomegranate I think to myself,
“If only the seeds of the heart could be so transparent,”
when the juice spurts out and splashes into my eyes,
vermilion tears trickling down.
My mother bursts out laughing
and Rana too.