New Poetry Anthology

The Poetry of Iranian Women. Edited by Sheema Kalbasi

 Celebrated poet and activist, Sheema Kalbasi, has brought out a new anthology of Persian poetry. You can sample a few poems from this collection below.

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The Arts know no national boundaries. The Republic of Arts and Letters encompasses the entire world. For too long, those in power across the globe have benefited mightily, cynically from pitting group against group, nation against nation, and we all suffer as a result. We suffer in the lack of understanding that acompanies a parochial vision, a narrow vision, a limited range of experiences.…

The Secret


I am a woman. Simply.
To look at me is a sin —
I must be veiled.
To hear my voice is a temptation
that must be hushed.
For me to think is a crime
so I must not be schooled.
I am to bear it all
and die quietly, without complaint.
Only then can I be admitted to the court of God
where I must repose naked on a marble cloud
feed virtuous men succulent grapes
pour them wine from golden vats
and murmur songs of love…
Sholeh Wolpé

That old man sitting on the bench
is you, a little boy biking around
Your hair is now white, spread
by the traces of age
and I?…

New Poetry and a Short Film

We have some new poetry on tap from Sheema Kalbasi, Alessio Zanelli and Tony Jones. Sheema also tipped me off to a very good short film and hopes our readers will view the movie here.

The filmmaker in question, Hossein Martin Fazeli, is also a poet. One I hope to publish here soon.



If I had another life to live, I think I would be a filmmaker. The ability to make art that way, to combine prose, poetry, music, soundscapes, landscapes, paintings, photography, motion. It has it all. And I don’t think that “all” has been fully exploited.…

Paper Spoon: India Meets Persia

Paper Spoon

This night holds me so tightly in its palm,
as if to never love another, but outside
what remains is the inheritance
and an unfriendly notice.
I fumble through the memories, recalling
promises of life, never loving another.
Softly, I wait until the lush beginning
comes to me. I am pale yet ripe,
seasoned with night clouds,
wondering how the skin is perfected
before the portrait of a wrinkled woman,
from my kitchen to yours, is secretly hung.
My heart weighs the love and lust
as I sprawl within this page, inking
aloneness, swinging the papers
or a naked spoon inward.…

Seven Valleys of Love

Two poems from Sheema Kalbasi’s new bilingual anthology of Persian poetry:

Seven Valleys of Love: Translated by Sheema Kalbasi



Your tender revolt
Contained by the illicit apple
Pounds in red
And your eyes’ shattered diamond
A woman in seclusion
Revolves into a star
With you
On the surface of water
I am thirsty
Place the skies in your eyes
Blaze out the star
So that I can see you
The sea is peaceful

–Mehri Rahmani

Those days
Was my room
And wherever I felt unsafe
I gravitated into its eternal sanctuary.
These days
There aren’t any rooms
That can harbor me against the crowd
and behind every window
inside and outside every room
a two-faced clown sneers.…

Echoes in Exile

We have some new poetry, this time from Sheema Kalbasi, an excellent poet I had the pleasure to meet last year at a book festival. There is something unique, exquisite and dreamy in her work, something that informs and amplifies the images of war and peace, tragedy and freedom, family, love and laughter she depicts. She is intrepid.


Have added yet more new poetry and some aphorisms to the Spinozablue mix. An Italian poet and an Egyptian-American aphorist, both of whom bring something truly out of the ordinary to these pages. Alessio Zanelli and Yahia Lababidi are young poets, already with an international following and deserve wider recognition.…

Two Poems by Sheema Kalbasi


I wear your perfume on my skin
Don’t be unkind
Like wild flowers shy under the sun

Don’t seek the truth,
I tell you none exists
Everything has an expiration date
Love, life, identity, even abnormality.

We are travelers,
Some of us just leave the suitcase at home
So that our hands won’t suffer the weight of our guilt.


New England

Children are playing next to the ocean coast
and sand castles are built with their digging
hands symphonized with their joyous laughter.
Near the beach, sea rocks are thirsty to move

from sitting next to the New England attic rooms.

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