Dear Regime: Letters to the Islamic Republic
In his provocative, brave, and sometimes brutal first book of poems, Roger Sedarat directly addresses the possibility of political change in a nation that some in America consider part of "the axis of evil." Iranianon his father's side, Sedarat explores the effects of the Islamic Revolution of 1979--including censorship, execution, and pending war--on the country as well as on his understanding of his own origins. Written in a style that is as sure-footed as it is experimental, Dear Regime: Letters to the Islamic Republic confronts the past and current injustices of the Iranian government while retaining a sense of respect and admiration for the country itself. Woven into this collection are the author's vividdescriptions of the landscape as well as the people of Iran. Throughout, Sedarat exhibits a keen appreciation for the literary tradition of Iran, and inmaking it new, attempts to preserve the culture of a country he still claims as his own.
With honesty of homemade butter,
paddle-churned cream (eshta in Arabic,
ecstasy foaming to the brim), a woman
river-bathes, sheet of oil-black hair breaking
in rapids, cut lemon scintillating
olive skin free of tree-stumped chador, skirts
within skirts, peal of her bell-body rung
muffled in Iran heat--a splash of white.
The rhythm of pumice scraping her feet,
sandbar against warm current, frothy cape
a bee-bubbled hive, honeyed trace curling
to her bare knees, thick transparent lather.
At a Tehran bazaar endless gold-stores
could never return me anywhere pure.
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