Poetry of Tahirih
A unique collection of the poetry of Táhirih: scholar, poet and the only woman Letter of the Living
Original Persian texts and annotated English translations set in their historical context and explained.
Poet, scholar, Letter of the Living, martyr. Transformed by her allegiance to the Báb, the messianic figure who ushered in a new era in religious history and whose advent changed the fortunes of humanity, Táhirih was a 19th-century Iranian woman who overcame the restrictions of her birth to become one of the most outstanding figures of her time. Her poetry reflects her passion, devotion and depth of knowledge.
John Hatcher and Amrollah Hemmat ⏤one a poet and professor of English, the other a scholar of Persian and Arabic ⏤have combined their talents to produce a remarkable translation of more than 40 poems written by Táhirih. Skilfully rendered and fully annotated, the poems demonstrate the breadth of Táhirih's scholarship, her mastery of a variety of poetic forms and her deep commitment to the Báb and to the one whose advent He heralded, Bahá'u'lláh.
Author: John Hatcher and Amrollah Hemmat.
Format: Softcover book, 264 pages, 15 x 23 cm.
Publisher: George Ronald Publisher, 2002.
'John Hatcher brings considerable skills to the translation of this ecstatic woman's poetry: his thorough scholarship and his passionate Bahá'í faith. John, himself a deep mystic, works on these poems from the inside out. I am grateful for his labour of love.'
⏤ Coleman Barks
'What John Hatcher and Amrollah Hemmat have achieved in translating the poetry of Táhirih is all the more remarkable because of the nature of her poetry - a highly elliptical, allusive, and culturally based verse in the mystical tradition. The resulting book is, much more than an accurate rendering of her verse from Persian and Arabic into English; it is an amazingly sturdy piece of scholarship . . . The readers, whether academic or not, will appreciate this fortuitous blending of deep scholarly acumen and poetic craft which the complimentary relationship between these two writers has produced. I can enthusiastically recommend this ambitious work . . .'
⏤ Professor Tamara Sonn Wm. R. Kenan Distinguished Professor of Humanities Department of Religion, The College of William & Mary Williamsburg, VA.
The translator's role is to capture, distil and recreate the vision of the poet in words possessing the power and the genius of the work being translated. Hence the translator is compelled to convey the essence of the poetry in a new form, thus inspiring his reader as he was inspired. The translator must if he were to achieve excellence possess the ear of a poet and a poets' technical endowments . . . these two exceptionally talented translators are able to reproduce not only the rhymes and assonances but even the internal stresses of many of the Arabic and Persian originals.'
⏤ Soheil Bushrui, Bahá'í Chair for World Peace, Center for International Conflict Management, University of Maryland.
About John Hatcher
John Hatcher is a professor emeritus of English Literature at the University of South Florida and holds degrees in English Literature and Old and Middle English Literature and Linguistics from the University of Georgia. He is the author of numerous books on Bahá'í theology and scripture. He lives near Tampa, Florida.