A celebration of Persian voices and talent

Two Poems by Mohammad-Ali Sepanlou, translated by Siavash Saadlou


Two Poems by Mohammad-Ali Sepanlou

Translated by Siavash Saadlou
“I run my fingers through the river’s skin— / the river running alongside life and death; / I come to life with it, I die in it.”

Window, Clock, Rain
by Mohammad-Ali Sepanlou
Translated by Siavash Saadlou

I Take the Pulse of My Homeland
by Mohammad-Ali Sepanlou
Translated by Siavash Saadlou


Mohammad-Ali Sepanlou, an Iranian poet, essayist, and literary critic, was born in 1940. Nicknamed the Poet of Tehran for his evocative panegyrics on Iran’s capital, Sepanlou published more than sixty volumes of poetry and essays. He was also a founding member of the Writers’ Association of Iran. Sepanlou was the recipient of several distinctions, including Legion de Honneur and Le prix Max-Jacob. He died in May 2015, aged seventy-four.

AUTHOR PHOTO BY Hossein Velayati for Mehr News Agency


Siavash Saadlou is a writer and literary translator whose works of fiction, creative nonfiction, and criticism have appeared in Plenitude Magazine, Southeast Review, and Minor Literature[s], among other journals. His poetry has recently been anthologized in Essential Voices: Poetry of Iran and Its Diaspora (Green Linden Press). Saadlou is also the recipient of the 55th Cole Swensen Prize for Translation. He holds an MFA in creative writing from Saint Mary’s College of California.

FEATURED IMAGE by Mehdi MeSSrro via Unsplash