TRANSLATOR’S NOTE:I first started translating The Magnetic Fields at the request of the young poet Tamás Panitz. He had been going to Gloucester to visit the poet Gerrit Lansing, a dear friend of my husband, the poet Robert Kelly. Gerrit would recommend various poetry books he thought were worth reading to Tamás, and Tamás would faithfully follow his advice. Except in this case: there was no translation available of The Magnetic Fields; the Gascoyne/Atlas edition had gone out of print and was prohibitively expensive.
Alireza Roshan was born in Tehran in 1977, where he worked as a journalist, heading the Books Desk at Iran’s most popular reformist daily newspaper. Around 2008, he began publishing his poetry daily online, on sites such as Google Reader, Google+, and Facebook. In so doing, he gained fame as “a poet without a book,” yet he’d deny claims to being a precursor of Instapoetry.
Translation from Persian by Erfan Mojib and Gary Gach
Time is written into the White Shaman mural … these murals are texts, analogous to the books once housed in the Library of Alexandria. — Carolyn Boyd, quoted by Eric A. Powell, in Archaeology (November/December 2017)
[N.B. Amish Trivedi has for some time been a close associate at Poems and Poetics, some of his earlier work having appeared in the postings of February 25, 2011, October 7, 2012, August 2, 2013, June 16, 2016, and July 5, 2018. He recently received a PhD from Illinois State University with a dissertation titled “A Wing in a Crumbling Mansion: Poetry in the Post-Academy.”]