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Ali Abdolrezaei     Contributor -- Iran       (now living in England)

Ali Abdolrezaei was born on 10 April 1969 in Northern Iran. He completed his primary and secondary education in his city of birth, and after receiving his diploma in mathematics passed the nationwide university entrance exams. He graduated with a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tehran Technical and Engineering University.

He began his professional poetic career in 1986 and became one of the most serious and contentious poets of the new generation of Persian poetry. Abdolrezaei has had an undeniable effect on many poets of his generation through his poetry, as well as his speeches and interviews. He is also one of the few poets who succeeded in expressing his unique poetic individuality. His 14 varied books of poetry – From Riskdom, Shinema, So Sermon of Society, Improvisation, This Dear Crying, Paris in Renault, You Name this Book and Only Iron Men Live in the Rain and … – endorse his poetic creativity and power. Publication is forthcoming for his poetry collection La Elaha Ella Love and the multi-textual Hermaphrodite. Both have received diverse critical reviews. Nearly all well-known poets and critics of Persian poetry have written about Abdolrezaei’s work.

In September 2002 after his protest against heavy censorship of his latest books such as So Sermon of Society and Shinema, he was banned from teaching and public speaking. He left Iran and after staying a few months in Germany, followed by two years in France, he moved to London, where he has been living for the last three years.

Many thanks to the translator of Ali Abdolrezaei’s work, Mr. Abol Froushan.





She raised a finger

Excuse me, teacher!

If the holy cow slips

tin roofs falling over

under lots of iron beams would we always die?

the teacher    a tremor slipping down his face

pulled the pocket bottoms off his hands

and heavens            fell down on the Nth class

crushed benches

lessons fallen from children’s hands

and the walls  what dreams they harboured for the inhabitants

except for     a hand that appeared in  the rubble

with the call  of a rising finger!

Excuse me, Sir!

May I get up?

Birth Certificate


Friendlesser than me is friendlessness itself

My heart is glad my name is someone’s man

My heart is glad that I’m a poet

                                I love it

The universe is my home


I’m not so well!

 no passing door’s welcome ever beckoned me

                                                                                to come in

The only one that ‘come here ‘- invited me

                                                                                was the prison door

                                a prison where I’m free

                                                to say something naked to the wall

A wall                    which has risen to my fear

Up there

                                there is a teacher

                                that gives no time to whatever I ask


My lesson was an excuse

I went to school in the corner of hearts

I grabbed a heart

without a sigh in its repertoire

with tipsy spells rented from the bottle

her heart is glad

                that no one can be rid of me

goodbyes alone rush out

Her heart is glad Ali’s alone

how unwell she is

there are lots of Alis

did a lot and not a lot of tongue spiel went in your ear

hardened in your ways and like always mistaken

you committed no sin to deserve forgiving

asleep on the titanic

your chest was a tombstone       your body a corpse

the cinema of the shameful state you have

is still screening a mirror

try not to wreck

                                since you drove a cancer out of my belly

your heart is glad you cauterized it?!

they un-believe the hows of your lips

who are you polling for?

In my madness many swimmings reached the shore

Even the grounded boat set unripped sail to my rebellion

Didn’t the storm               help Noah?!


That child of avalanche you are hurling

won’t diminish the mountain

seaborne no tears remain

secure from the coming flood you won’t remain

Don’t dream a wreck

for what here you said was so much to-do

                                so much sleep time yap

prepare you ear

to sit before the wit

the mirror you made up

                                is screening a lecturer for you

sweetness doesn’t put honey on her earlobe

your love is more than you in love with you


                                I’d be a useless Farhad[1] if

                                                I hadn’t stolen Parviz’s past

Don’t break the phone

                They won’t pick up

My birth certificate is no re-issue

They ask people about me so much       

that however much they ask      is outside the door

They’ve loosened a hand

                                to knock the knocker on another home

no longer found

                no one finds in me

                                till you come


[1]           Farhad and Parviz were two rivals in love with Shirin who was a legendary beauty in the Classical Persian Literature.

all copyrights belong to Ali Abdolrezaei, with translation credit belonging to Mr. Abol Froushan

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