This play is about the love relationship between Shahram, an Iranian poet living in exile, and Shaherezad, an Iranian activist who had been in prison for 11 years during both the Shah and Khomeini's regimes. They both had lost their partners, Ezzat and Hamid, in Tehran execution fields in the 1980's. In Act I, they meet in Santa Monica, California, and fall in love. But in Act II, difficulties arise and in Act III, Shahram has to accept the fact that Shaherezad has begun to date an American professor, Sean.
Cast of Characters
Shahram: Poet, 40s, partially-sighted
Shaherezad: Student, 30s, light brown hair, green eyes
Sean: Professor, 40s, long hair, tall
Cast: Chorus, Shahram, and Shaherezad
Now we raise our hearts
Like small sails
And let the wild winds
Take us wherever they will.
We pass by large and small islands
On the vast spread of the water,
And beyond the whirling eddies
We land on the sandy shore of a lonely island.
Our bare feet kiss the cool ground
And our dried tongues
taste sweet and sour fruits.
Our weary hands
Drive out the heavy mist
from our eyes,
And our ears
Hear the song of an enchanting bird
Calling us to the dense groves.
Then we will get lost
In the great jungle of love,
Where Shahram, a poet in exile
Meets Shaherezad in Santa Monica.
They both had lost their mates
In the execution fields in Iran.
Location: "Midnight Special Bookstore", Santa Monica, California
Shahram: (toward the audience)
My love has a narcissus
In her mouth
Carried with her
From a prison in Iran.
I know that from behind bars
One can see a flower
In the face of the moon,
And hear the migrating cranes
In the blue sky.
I know that behind eyelids
And inside clenched hands
And between each execution
And the lines of the last letters
And the whispering knocks on the wall
And the wet hems of sorrow
And the torn seams of joy
And the empty holes of pain
And the twilight of hope
And the hidden summit of pride
Yes, one can hide Spring.
And yet, I wonder in those dark cells
How one can grow a narcissus
Without any stain of blood.
Location: Santa Monica
There's something sweet
In your Turkish accent
When you say, “Salaam”,
When you say, “My heart flutters”,
And when you laugh out loud,
And I see your teeth.
I haven't seen a Turkish smile for years,
Since the execution of Faramarz in Tabriz
And Hamid in Ardebil
And Ruhi in Tehran.
Once more when departing
Someone will say in Turkish, “Smile.”
But this time will return
And my chest will shield her.
(He picks up a book from the table.)
Nezami, dear, I saw your Âfaq.
Not coming from the plains of Qabchaq,
But this time from the dark prisons of Tehran.
On her way she'd plucked a bunch of narcissuses
And carried a package of last letters
On her felt saddle.
Once more I will read Khosrow Shirin with her
And tell her about the sorrow of Farhad.
She and I both know the pain of separation
And always hang it from our waist
Like a small, studded dagger.
I see myself as a child
Who finds the green shoots of millet
In the cracks between the stone stairs.
They have grown overnight
Before her near-sighted eyes,
And she touches them in suprise
With her tiny fingers.
Shahram: (to the audience)
They say the Turks invaded our land,
But today I see Persia so beautiful.
Look at her eyes.
I want a wooden comb
To brush my flowing hair.
I let two braids slide down
Over my shoulders.
No, I untie them.
You have enough playfulness.
I will gather it on your head
Without covering the white strands.
The hardship of prison cells
Has made you even more beautiful.
No, no, I will let your hair hang
Freely on your shoulders.
That is how I saw you the first time.
Once more return
And call me from the dark boarding path.
Let me come back
And shower your face with kisses.
You and I have seen
Those who left and never returned.
Call me a thousand times
And let the last time never come.
Are you yourself an Orpheus
Returning from the land of death?
Time and again
I ask myself this question.
When the dead become
More beautiful than the living,
Why could it not be so?
When I see you again
I will let you count my marks of torture.
Will they number as the years
I spent in the dark cells in Tehran?
Each night, you will choose one,
To travel my seven domes with me.
My Shaherezad, I want to hear.
Tell me, tell me, tell me.
Like a child I put my head on your lap
To hear your prison tales one by one.
The passion for story
Roots deeply in man.
He wants to regain
What has been lost.
You ask me about your wife, Ezzat,
When she was called the last time
She wrapped her bundle and left.
I have returned
And carry her with me everywhere.
What is prison?
A place where people
Return to the womb.
Now that you are born
Stay in our world
And speak of those
Who didn't live again.
Read me your poetry.
And I will kiss your lips,
They are beautiful!
My Turkish dove,
Is it not because
You hear your name through them?
Location: A Persian New Year table, Sunnyvale, California
Let it fill you as if you were a chia pot
And grow like fragrant watercress
Out of your hands.
The New Year will come,
And you will sit
At the cloth of the "Seven S's".
You will look in the mirror
And along with the red goldfish
You will be freed
From the confines of the fishbowl.
And you will pass
From the lonely ash tree,
The stately hyacinth,
The anxious garlic,
The drunken vinegar,
And the happy silver coin.
And along with the bard of Shiraz
You will be filled with the sound of love.
And so, why be sad?
When the Thirteenth Day comes
You'll go with the flowing water
And speak to the sky and the earth
Of the beautiful moments of love.
Location: Santa Monica Pier
Walking at the seashore
We saw the setting sun.
And along with the darkness
We came upon the pier.
You bought me a long-stemmed rose.
I held it in my hand like a sword.
And we both went into the night.
The next morning, along with the mist,
We wandered over the hills.
On a road fenced with bougainvillea,
You found an opening.
We stood behind the barbed wire,
And looked at the landscape.
When we returned to the seashore
The mist had lifted.
We sat together on a rock
And I spoke of my prison years.
The water lapped at your white shoes,
And I swam like a happy fish
In the green waters far away,
Thinking of the red rose
Still waiting for us
On the kitchen table.
Cast: Chorus, Shahram, and Shaherezad
Saki, for God's love, come and fill my glass.
Wine for a breaking heart, O Saki, bring!
For this strange love which seemed at first, Alas!
So simple and so innocent a thing,
How difficult, how difficult it is!
Because the night-wind kissed the scented curl
On the white brow of a capricious girl
And, passing gave me half the stolen kiss
Who would have thought one's heart could bleed and break
For such a very little thing as this?
Wine, Saki, Wine,red... wine, for pity's sake
O, Saki, would to God that I might die!
Would that this moment I might hear the bell
That bids the traveller for the road prepare,
Be the next stopping-place or heaven or hell
Strange caravan of death ...no fears have I
Of the dark journey gladly would I dare
The fearful river and the whirling pools.
Ah! They that dwell upon the other side
What know they of the burdens that we bear?
With lit-up happy faces having died
What know they of love bitter mystery,
The love that makes so sad a fool of me?
A fool of hafiz!.. Yea, A fool of fools.
Location: Shahram at Santa Monica beach, Shaherezad at Santa Cruise beach
Shahram: (to the audience)
With all your greatness
You cannot find a way
Into my little heart.
Is my anxiety deeper
Than your brooding storm?
Is my crying louder
Than your sobbing sands?
Is my anger wilder
Than your raging waves?
On the other shore
My love is sitting
On the shifting sands
With one hand
She pulls my head
Toward her sweet lips,
And with the other hand
She pushes back my chest.
From his eyes
Sun and hail mix together,
And from his tongue
Both spring and autumn.
When he smiles
My narcissus blossoms,
And as I walk away
The yellow leaves descend.
Let me embrace you
So my great sorrow
Dissolves in your waters,
And my pulse beats in tune
With the rhythm of your heart.
Perhaps I'll find my love
On the other shore
Sitting on a granite rock
Letting my fingers
Play with her toes.
Location: Big Basin Redwoods State Park
In the evening we went into the forest,
And the spirit of the trees overcame us.
On the trail, we whispered to each other
And remembered our martyred mates.
We touched their names etched on pine trees,
And we asked the birds of their destinies.
Then, sitting at the edge of a creek
We let the water caress our feet.
Our hands sought each other's secrets.
And our lips called out each other's names.
Was I your Hamid? Were you my Ezzat?
On our way back we were singing.
Suddenly you let go of my hand,
We saw two fawns that had black eyes,
Brown coats, and slender legs.
When I was a child I had a fawn
Which a hunter had brought for my father.
She ran from room to room
And looked from window to window.
She grazed on the shrubs of the carpet
And drank from the cup of my hand.
I rubbed my cheek to her cheek,
Touched her sides,
And kissed her eyelids.
One day she left me alone,
Until I saw her again
In the garden of a fairy tale.
"But the younger sister
Could not resist.
She drank from the magic spring
And turned into a fawn,
And with her elder brother
Lost her way in the desert."”
You called the older fawn,
I looked at the younger one.
She peered from behind the bush
Waiting to hear her name.
"Majnun gave his horse to the hunter
And released the captured gazelle.
Let him go in search of his mate."
I put my arms around your waist
And took your hands in mine.
We both walked in silence.
The pair had disappeared
In the shade of the shrubbery.
But I knew that my lost fawn
Had returned to the shrubs of her carpet.
Location: Shahram's apartment, Santa Monica
Shaherezad is sleeping in her apartment in Sunnyvale
For taking her from me!
For hiding her from me!
What if, at daybreak,
Along with the morning breeze
And dewy leaves,
I were to bend over the window
Of her quiet bedroom
And like the shadow dance
Of a swaying branch
Pass softly through the glass,
And caress her flowing brown hair
And slide down
Over her secretive forehead,
And shady eyelashes:
Bordering her green eyes,
And pause on her little nose:
So rarely seen in my own clan,
And feel the sweet traces of air
Coming out of her burning being,
And pass over her high cheeks:
Hiding the pain of prison inside,
And kiss her vanishing thin lips:
And come down
From her long, crystal neck:
Revealing her proud face,
And creep inside
Her deep blue nightgown
And Feel the whole nocturnal heat
Of her milky breasts
With their red snake-charming tips
Before Behzad, the great master
Can take his brush
And like chinese artists
Give life to her tapered waist
And navel cup,
Her cavern of shame
And marble pillars;
Before the old artisan
Of my childhood town,
With the delicate tap-tap of his hammer
Can bring together the minute pieces
Of my Qabchaq Turk's body
On a big copper plate,
Along with the sunbeams
I will softly climb from the wall
And stay in a cozy corner
And look into her green eyes
And she, subconscious of my presence
And my early-morning passage
Over her body
Will slowly open them
And gulp down the morning light
With a long yawn.
My beautiful she-wolf
Will hide her red mouth
Behind her playful tongue,
And pat her two generous fists
On her chest
To shake off the dew of sleep,
And softly raise her head
From her perfumed pillow,
And in the bathroom mirror,
As was the habit of her prison years,
Let the brush caress
Her white teeth
One by one,
And wipe with the tip of her tongue
The foam from the edge of her lips
And with a fistful of cold water
Drive out the remnants of darkness
From her moon-like face,
And press her hand
To give off the pleasant smell
Of her night urine
Into the throat of whirling water,
And then, fast and clever,
Go to the kitchen
And say hello
To the lonely bird in the cage,
And without the fragrant tea,
Or the toasted bread,
Or the pungent cheese,
Or sharing them with me:
Her happy companion,
Will slowly close the door
And clutch the jingling key-ring
In her hand,
Before the city chaos,
The honking cars
And the fuming trucks
Steal her from me,
What if the sun always
Remained at daybreak
And let me forever
Stay by her pure face
In the shadow of a branch
Dancing behind her window,
And along with the air
Go inside her little nostrils
And spread through all her capillaries,
Her sweet dreams,
And bloody nightmares,
And be closer to her body than clothes
Than words to her soul,
And then hide myself
In the last joint
Of her left big toe
Where the ordained jailor
After cleansing his hands
Flogged the flesh from the skin
And the bone from the flesh
And left on this angelic body
The mark of Satan's claw.
I curse you,
For placing her within you!
Now, by which means
Will you pass this long way?
And with which sun will you see
The dawn of this endless night?
Be calm, be calm,
For your love has learned
To sleep lightly
In those dark cells,
Lest the sound of your sobbing
Disturb her sleep
And the scratching pen
On the white paper
Open her green eyes
On this dark night.
Location:Shahram in Santa Monica on the phone with Shaherezad in Sunnyvale
I have been whispering with you
From the beginning of Creation
When pennyroyal sprang from the ground
And began talking to the brook,
From eleven o'clock that night
When I picked up the green receiver
And traced eleven numbers with my finger
And heard your green voice, “Hello”
On the other side of the line
Taking me to a brook of colorful pebbles.
My father was a simple switchman in a village.
My mother had the kindness of a roadside farm.
Every morning I filled my pockets
With the anxiety of the dusty road,
And in the lonely afternoons
I shared them with my little cricket.
In Eshlaq, where my grandmother lived,
I learned that stars chant.
One night Hamid and I went to the meadow.
We listened to the sound of the stars,
And celebrated the formation of a planet.
When they separated us in Evin Prison,
The starry sky joined us together
Until one night I heard the sound of his burning
And the earth stood still for me.
Lay your head on my chest.
Let me listen to the sound of your heart.
(closes her eyes.)
I forget on which side of the brook
I am sitting, talking to you.
I give myself to the water's caressing fingers
And sleep on a pillow of scents and memories.
Where are you? Where are you?
Do you hear the sound of the stars?
In my City of Angels
They are silent and dark.
But if I come to your Sunny Vale
And look into your shining eyes
My sky will fill with conversation.
(laughs and closes her eyes again.)
I know that you go to classes every morning.
At noon you pass by your little house
To cook for your brother and his son,
And then you go to work in the afternoon.
At night you do your reading and writing
Between waking and sleeping.
At eleven o'clock you give yourself
To the stream of primeval sounds.
I cannot accept this separation.
Shabnam is growing without me in Tehran
And Nasim's hair must be down to her waist by now.
I remember that reeds in my hometown
On the banks of Zâyandeh Rud river in Isfahan
Have bloomed twelve times without me.
And the doves in the Esfahânak village
Have circled a thousand times
Over the fragrant fields of melon.
We grow in exile too,
Then bloom and dry out.
Now I discover
That at the edge of this brook
Where I sit with you each night
Fragrant pennyroyals have grown,
More green than the fennel of Pudeh.
Bend your head.
Press your ear.
Let these scents fill you up.
I feel the aroma of primeval time
When man climbed down from the trees
And began his endless journey
Along the mysterious rivers of the world.
The water plays with your hair
And the colorful pebbles shine
In the shadowy brook bed.
The morning is drawing near.
I switch the receiver
From one ear to the other
And listen to the sweet whisper
Of this green sound.
Location:Big Basin Redwoods State Park
No, I do not believe
This winter sleep
In the heat of summer.
The mulberries were so ripe
That all they needed was a hand
To shake them off the branches.
The bees were busy with their midday whispers.
And no shadow of cloud was to be seen on the ground.
I had put on new clothes
And even let my upper lip sprout again.
This time my moustache looked whiteish.
But I felt born again in my forties,
And, even, shame on me, I had bought brown dye
To join nature in its celebration.
Alas, the snow spoiled my dream.
Icicles hung from trees
And the raven became the sole heir of the earth.
I gave in to the whiteness
And I vowed to shave off my moustache.
Then I saw footprints in the snow
Leading evenly toward a cave.
I realized that they were yours
When I saw the imprint of the left big toe.
The same feet that I had kissed and sniffed,
And pressed to my eyes so many times,
Now had taken you away from me.
Ah, I thought love was the antidote of all pain.
I took it in one gulp and became so vulnerable.
I wish I could go to the desert like Majnun
And find my Laili in the eyes of the gazelles.
I wish I could shave my head,
Put on a horse-hair garment,
And enter into the service of an elder.
Christ was the friend of lepers.
But I could only see Forugh 
Writing on my wooden door,
“The house is dark.”
hibernating in this mountain bed,
Curled up, with my eyes closed
Like a fetus in the womb.
Can your ears pick up my heartbeat?
Can the sound of my poem open your eyes?
O dark cloud,
Leave our sky!
O yellow sun,
Shine on our earth!
We return to our summer celebration.
I spread out the scroll of my new poem
Like a tablecloth on this rock,
And from your little nap-sack
I take out cheese and country bread,
And tea cups one by one.
We take a bite
And share a piece with the birds.
Let us even invite that squawking crow
Which we had chased away from our picnic.
Let our feast be open to all!
Location: Shaherezad's apartment, Sunnyvale
You reach the top, seven times
Under my feet, over my head,
And let me feel the lightness of the flight,
And distance myself from the lowly land
The pleading arms of skyscrapers
The constant caravan of working ants
The wrinkled face of frowning earth;
And leave behind all belongings
And pass through clouds along with you
And reach that place where the sun always shines
And no one can enter.
During the flight I sat by the window
Looking for you in the blue sky
And I saw you in the cloud's forms.
But when the plane began to land
Puncture the mass of mysterious mist
Circle over houses and highways
And kiss again the broad shoulders of the earth,
I understood that I should return
Because I can find your love
Only in the lightness of the flight
Where everything becomes vulnerable
And even the soothing voice of the steward
And the assuring sound of the pilot
Reporting figures and different numbers
Cannot restore your confidence,
And you know that nothing will save you
And you surrender yourself to the blue sky.
I have braided my hair this time
Wearing a patchwork vest
With the design of a Simorgh 
I embrace you and become light again
And along with you- my beautiful hoopoe!
I travel to seven mystical lands:
First, I see Dante
He has Beatrice on his lap
And feeds her from the poet's heart.
Second, I see Nezami.
He has destroyed his book
Writing the story of his love Âfaq.
Third, I see Nima 
Sitting by the river, Makhula 
And peaking at beautiful Safura.
He knows that he won't leave his village Yush.
Fourth, I see Ezzat.
She is standing in the execution field
but the bullet does not harm her body.
Fifth, I see Hamid.
He appears in a field of narcissus
And looks at the full blue moon.
Sixth, I see Gilgamesh
Crying at the bed of his brother, Inkidu
He knows that man cannot flee death.
Seventh, you open the door
And I see a basket of narcissus
That I had sent for your birthday
and still remains in full bloom.
My fingers blossom all over your skin
And the pollen of your love sits over my pistils.
I open wide, open wide, open wide
And the aroma of narcissus surrounds us
Then I close my eyes and see you, a kind baker.
You knead me with your clever fingers,
Smooth me with your kisses,
Shape me with the tip of your tongue
And from the flowers of your laughter
You sprinkle seeds on my tender dough.
When my body becomes your body
And from our united selves
Has grown one body with four arms,
Like the Aristophane's figure of love 
Suddenly, you let me go
Whereupon I burn,
Turn from raw to well-done.
And I find a path from
willingness to love
cognition to satisfaction
unity to amazement and annihilation
And see si-morgh, as Simorgh.
You brace your teeth
Close your eyes
Turn your head back and forth
Press your nails into your palms
And scream with the sound of a newborn planet
In the infinite skirt of the galaxy.
Suddenly you plunge
And you release the tempo of the flight
On one point and only one point.
As always I surrender myself to you
And seven times I step from peak to abyss
And from abyss to peak
And I am amazed that you so relaxed
Bring together all of your bodily energy
In one part of your soul.
You take me across the narrow bridge of Chinvad 
Along with the seven Immortals, 
Until we enter the vineyards of paradise.
I travel seven cities of love with you
And knock on seven gates of heaven, one by one.
I want to stay always in the lightness of the flight
And never return to the stability of the earth
And not seek any sanctuary
except the strong shoulders of love.
From a lustful cluster of grapes
I pluck the still-sour ones
And put them in your mouth, one by one.
With each grape that I burst between my teeth
I taste the love that blossomed for so long
In our golden vineyard.
Cast:Chorus, Shahram, Shaherezad and Sean
The sun is setting inside us
And our souls deteste our skins.
Where is our India?
The land of eternal flowers
Where the green parrot
Reveals the old wisdom
And the caressing rain
Washes away sorrows.
Gather from everywhere
Raise the sails
And break through the waves.
The day is sunny
And the good omen dolphins
Shake their backs under the waters.
San Sebastian Gomera 
San Sebastian Gomera
Let us pull anchor
And sail beyond this old atlas
Perhaps this time
We will find our India.
Location:Shahram in Santa Monica on the phone with Shaherezad: in Sunnyvale
I must accept that at sunset,
You can sit upon a seaside cliff
And watch playful whales with another man.
Am I not holding his gentle hand?
And is he not looking at my green eyes
When I speak of my prison years?
Do I not yearn to stroke his long hair?
And when he stands to stretch his legs
Do I not gaze at his grand height
reminding me of my martyred husband?
How far is it from the remote cliffs
To his house in the heart of the forest?
Does not the wet grass under your feet,
Portend his new Mahogany bed?
Are his hands not slightly trembling,
As he puts fragrant wood in the fireplace?
Does not the dance of flame in his eyes
Remind you of our first night of love?
And when he tilts his bottle of wine
To fill your tiny drinking glass
Does not the wine snicker at me?
And when the glass touches your lips
Do you not recall our first kiss?
Upon returning from that secret forest
When the piercing light behind the trees
Mixed with the glow of his bright eyes,
And my eyes chased his skillful hands
Moving from the steering wheel to the gears
Did he not tell me of his girlfriend in Cairo?
Why did your lips avoid saying my name?
And why did your skin completely forget
My caressing, wounded hands?
Did your love for me grow cold
Like the last rays of the dying sun
Letting the dark night of loneliness
Fall upon my soul again?
I testify that the human heart is fickled
And love is an old rash seeking new fingers.
If you go to the seaside again
And sit atop cliffs to watch whales
My love! remember that happy day
When we went to the dense forest
And came upon two black-eyed fawns.
Alas! the sea is vast and free
And the whales draw you to a new horizon
Our fawns have disappeared into the forest
And a lost dove mourning on a limb
Will not make them return.
Location: Shahram in his bedroom talking to the shadow of Sean
Shahram: (to the audience)
Tonight, two men do not sleep:
The one who gave a basket of carnations to my love
And the other, me, turning on the bed lamp tonight
To see his face clearly in the light of my poem.
Shahran (to Sean):
What is your name?
Where were you born?
And why, among all these other women
Have you fallen in love with mine?
I see in her the mark of agony, as you saw it
I find in her the beauty of pride, as you found it
I feel her gentle love, as you felt it.
The first time that you saw her, what was she wearing?
That day, she wore a blue t-shirt and jeans
And when it grew cold,
She put on a maroon sweater.
Her hair reached her shoulders.
Did she not tell you of her husband
Executed in Evin prison?
I knew him; he was tall and long-haired
With a gentle smile on his face.
Did she not speak of her prison pains?
I gazed at her mouth as you did
And was moved by her words.
When she spoke English
Did she not have a sweet accent?
In her Persian, I felt a Turkish tone
Like the space of a missing baby tooth.
I brought her a bunch of carnation.
My love has put your flowers in a crystal vase
And lookd at them on the other end of the line,
I asked, "What did you say?
What did your husband first give you?"
She said, "A bunch of carnations."
My heart stopped beating again
The poison filled my whole body
And my tongue sticked to my words.
She said "Don't be silly!
I'll see him Thursday
And explain everything."
I can feel your heart beats
Your hard breath and dry tongue.
Your temples throb like a drum.
Perhaps your carnations have touched her heart
You have a house in the forest
And the perfect look of a movie star
And sharp vision, like a hawk in the sky.
I am a partially sighted poet
What do I have to offer?
Twelve poems in love.
Have you ever found yourself on the waves of love?
You move forward madly, and you don't know
If you are in the undertow or on the pounding surf.
Tell me: Am I lost?
Will the new wave hit my corpse to the bedrock?
Tell me: Am I safe?
Has this ordeal been only a test for my love?
Should I go wild
And let thistles grow from my head?
Or should I become an olive branch
Swaying in a lovely summer breeze?
My friend! My rival!
Be calm on this night.
Close your eyes. Listen to your heart
And welcome whatever comes.
I turn off the light
And take my poem to bed.
Shahram and Sean:
We both will go to sleep.
The one who remains sleepless tonight
Is a woman who holds our hearts in her hand.
 Nizami is a twelfth-century poet; the death of his wife inspired him to write his well-known romances in Persian, including Khosrow Shirin and Leyli o Majnun. He lived in the province of Azarbayjan, where people speak Turkish today.
Allusion to a poem by Ahmad Shamlu (d. 2000) written after the execution of revolutionaries under
the Shah in the 1970's.
 In Nizami's romance, Seven Domes, King Bahram listens to the story of seven princesses for seven nights.
 On the Persian New Year, the first day of spring, it is traditional to spread on a cloth seven items, the names of which all begin with the letter sin. ("s"). These "seven s's" are typically ash tree, hyacinth, garlic, vinegar, a coin, sprouts
(wheat, watercress, or other), and sumac. Other items put on the cloth (not beginning with sin) are a goldfish (in a fishbowl), a mirror, and either a Koran or a copy of Hafez's collected poems. Thirteen days later, people must go hiking and cast their sprouts into a stream.
 An allusion to a verse of Hafez, the fourteenth century Persian lyricist.
 From Divan of Hafiz rendered by Charles Le
Gallienne, New York 1903
 Behzad was the fifteenth-century master of the
 A village in the province of Isfahan, in which my father was born.
 Forugh Farrokhzad, a famous Iranian poet (died 1966). She made a short, and quite moving, film about lepers
entitled “The House Is Dark.”
 In Conference of Birds the eleventh century Persian mystic, Attar, tells the story of the birds being led by their leader, a hoopoe. They hoped to discover the magical bird, Simorgh, but after passing through seven levels of mystical love, they found only themselves. The poet plays a pun: "si morgh", in Persian, means "thirty birds", coinciding with the number of birds who have completed their journey.
Nima Yushij (1895-1960), the founder of modern Persian poetry.
 A river near the village of Yush where Nima was born. He has written a poem about this river.
See Symposium by Plato.
 In Zoroastrian belief the bridge from which the faithful can go to heaven.
 Known in Zoroastrian divinity
 A port in the Canary Islands where Christopher Columbus set sail for India. Instead he landed in the New World.
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