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Amin Banani

Táhirih: A Portrait in Poetry (Selected Poems of Qurratu’l-‘Ayn). Translated by Jascha Kessler and Anthony Lee, Los Angeles, Kalimat Press, 2004, 145 p. [Studies in Bábí and Bahá’í History, 17]

Compte-rendu réalisé par Franklin Lewis

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1Amin Banani’s introductory essay (pp. 1-30) on the life of Qorrat al-‘Ayn Ṭāhera (1814 or 1817-1852) is literary in character, though informed by scholarship. He focuses not on her theological writings (mostly in Arabic prose), but on her Persian poems, including questions of authorship and attribution, as well as contextualization of her poems in their historical and religious context. It provides an overview of a century of publications in Europe, the sub-continent and Iran treating Ṭāhera. Poet Jascha Kessler next presents a short essay (pp. 31-38), “On Translating a Persian Mystical Poet”, muses epistemologically about questions of translating Persian mystical poetry from the 19th century and the various formal options in English verse that might make sense, given the history of English letters. The choice has been “to show her as a poet, not as the purveyor of a passionate and esoteric religiosity” (p. 36). Banani gives an example of the collaborative translation process with Kessler (pp. 40-41) and explains (p. 39), the poems “have not been translated word for word into English… Instead, we have attempted to produce translation that are poems in their own right, English poems that capture at least some of the fire and emotion of the originals”. The translations feature rhyme and meter.

2There are 23 poems presented on tinted paper in the nasta‘līq calligraphy of Rasheed Butt and Iraj Mahingostar, followed by facing English translations (45-105). A final section of notes (109-45) on each poem.

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Franklin Lewis. Amin Banani, « Táhirih: A Portrait in Poetry (Selected Poems of Qurratu’l-‘Ayn). Translated by Jascha Kessler and Anthony Lee, Los Angeles, Kalimat Press, 2004, 145 p. [Studies in Bábí and Bahá’í History, 17] », Abstracta Iranica [En ligne], Volume 27 | 2006, document 301, mis en ligne le 02 janvier 2007, consulté le 04 décembre 2022. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/abstractairanica/6375 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/abstractairanica.6375

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