"Tabatabai's poems are movable homelands of language rooted in the strictures of the Persian classical tradition and at home in lucid, plainspoken eloquence."
- George Kalogeris, author of Dialogos
In this the author's first stand-alone collection of poetry and translations, Sassan Tabatabai has composed a book of delicate mourning, exile, and love. Voices and scenes from classical literature — Petrarch, Milton, the Odyssey — blend with impressions of childhood, fits of romantic longing, and moments of alienation. The wide topical and emotional range of these poems is bound together by the measured, level lines of Tabatabai's verse. The clear and unadorned style of his poetry and translations reveals the author's unspoken respect for language and for the histories which lay behind each word.
Critical acclaim for Sassan Tabatabai's poetry:
David Ferry, winner of the 2011 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, and National Book Award winner: "It's a privilege to read these poems. The tenderness and nobility they let us hear is not only in the voice of Tabatabai's personal poems, but also in the poems he translates from the Persian, in a voice always so careful and so respectful of the experiences the poems register, both personal and historical. Sometimes the stories told are stories of historical disasters and personal loss, told with a voice respectful and reticently compassionate."
Springs Toledo, author of The Gods of War: "This book is stunningly good ... These poems and others offer unforgettable glimpses into the wonder that was Persia and the talent that is Sassan Tabatabai."
Rosanna Warren, winner of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award of Merit in Poetry, and former Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets: "Sassan Tabatabai has composed a book of delicate mourning, exile, and love. Ancient Persia and modern Iran harmonize in his vision, as do the ancient poems of Rudaki and Rumi and the contemporary poems of Kadkani in Tabatabai's translations."