The Oasis of Now

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Published: October 2013

One should cross the river,

accompany the far horizon;
one should sometimes settle in the vein of a single

One should cross and eat mulberries from the tip of
the branch.
I was walking on the shores of Lyricism.
It was the rich season, the season of blessings.

And under my feet the sands shifted.

A woman heard and came to the window,
looking out, checking the weather.

So young and so delicately
her hands plucked the dew of minutes
from the body of death’s feelings.

I paused. The sun of Lyricism rose high in the sky.

I pondered the evaporation of dreams,
counting the number of times that branches of a
strange tree
stroke the body of the mind.

We thought we had no margins.
We thought
we were floating amidst legendary debates in the
sacred texts.

And that few seconds of negligence is our present

The Oasis of Now is the first U.S. book publication of the works of Sohrab Sepehri (1928-1980) whose education in Buddhism, mysticism, and affinities with the Western Transcendentalist poetry has saved him a peerless stance in the history of modern Persian poetry. The pieces collected in this volume, including the well-known “Water’s Footfall” are the quintessence of his vision of the universe having travelled through Japan, China, and India, where he was exposed to the arts of those countries as well as the spiritual disciplines of Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism.


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