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At Home, and Far from Home: Poems on Iran and Persian Culture Hardcover – July 7, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Dick Davis s Work

"A British poet married to an Iranian, Dick Davis teaches Persian literature in the United States. The cultural diversity of his life is reflected in the variety of his poems in their skillfully handled formal range, in the scope of their subject-matter and in their commitment to an ideal of civilized life shared by many cultures. Belonging is a profound and beautiful collection, which stimulates, dazzles, surprises and delights." --The Economist, which chose Belonging as a "Book of the Year" for 2002.

"[Dick Davis s translation] possesses the simplicity and elevation appropriate to an epic but never sounds grandiose; its sentences are clear, serene and musical. At various heightened moments usually of anguish or passion--Davis will shift into aria-like verse, and the results remind us that the scholar and translator is also a noted poet. . . Thanks to Davis's magnificent translation, Ferdowsi and the Shahnameh live again in English." --Michael Dirda in The Washington Post Bookworld, which selected Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings as "One of the Ten Best Books of 2006."

"One of the most extraordinary and fascinating love narratives produced anywhere in the medieval world, Islamic or Christian. . .Excellent introduction makes a convincing case for Vis and Ramin being the source for Tristan and Isolde. . .New translation by the poet Dick Davis, widely regarded as our finest translator of Persian poetry, in heroic couplets. . .This wonderful work should win Gorgani the Western audience he richly deserves." ----Times Literary Supplement, London

About the Author

Dick Davis is currently professor of Persian at Ohio State University, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His forthcoming book The Faces of Love: Hafez and the Poets of Shiraz will be published in 2010.
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More About the Author

Dick Davis brings a unique array of gifts to the challenges of translating Hafez and his contemporaries. In his own right, he is a poet of great technical accomplishment and emotional depth. He is also the foremost English-speaking scholar of medieval Persian poetry now working in the West. Numerous honors testify to his talents. In the U.K., he received the Royal Society of Literature's Heinemann Award for his second book of poems, Seeing the World, in 1981; his Selected Poems was chosen by both the Sunday Times and the Daily Telegraph as a Book of the Year in 1989; and his collection Belonging was selected as the Poetry Book of the Year by The Economist in 2003. In the U.S., A Kind of Love--the American edition of his Selected Poems--received the Ingram Merrill prize for "excellence in poetry" in 1993. He has received awards for his scholarship from the Arts Council of Great Britain, The British Institute of Persian Studies, and the Guggenheim Foundation, and he is the recipient of grants for his translations from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts. Twice, in 2000 and 2001, he received the Translation Award of the International Society for Iranian Studies, and in 2001 he received an Encyclopedia Iranica award for "services to Persian poetry." His translation of Ferdowsi's Shahnameh: the Persian Book of Kings was chosen as one of the "ten best books of 2006" by the Washington Post.

Davis read English at Cambridge, lived in Iran for eight years (he met and married his Iranian wife Afkham Darbandi there), then completed a PhD in Medieval Persian Literature at the University of Manchester. He has resided for extended periods in both Greece and Italy (his translations include works from Italian), and has taught at both the University of California and at Ohio State University, where he was for nine years Professor of Persian and Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages, retiring from that position in 2012. In all, he has published more than twenty books.

Among the qualities that distinguish his poetry and scholarship are exacting technical expertise and wide cultural sympathy--an ability to enter into distant cultural milieus both intellectually and emotionally. In choosing his volume of poems Belonging as a "Book of the Year" for 2006, The Economist praised it as "a profound and beautiful collection" that gave evidence of "a commitment to an ideal of civilized life shared by many cultures." the Times Literary Supplement has called him "our finest translator of Persian poetry."

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