Ghazal 42

Rebecca Gould


Hasan Sijzi is considered the originator of the Indo-Persian ghazal, a poetic form that endures to this day—from the legacy of Hasan’s poetic descendent, Hafez, to contemporary Anglophone poets such as John Hollander, Maxine Kumin, Agha Shahid Ali, and W. S. Merwin.

As with other Persian poets, Hasan worked within a highly regulated set of poetic conventions that brought into relief the interpenetration of apparent opposites—metaphysical and material, mysterious and quotidian, death and desire, sacred and profane, fleeting time and eternity. Within these strictures, he crafted a poetics that blended Sufi Islam with non-Muslim Indic traditions. – Rebecca Gould


Ghazal 42

The sorrow of knowing you is an old friend.

My affection for you dates to antiquity.

For us, my age is a temporary lover.

The love of you is a friend marked by age.

If one evening you make happiness enter my door,

you multiply age-old joys.

I swallow freshly attained grief

along with the witnesses of our old story.

You bring anguish, while Hasan

is wrapped in ancient notions of fidelity.

ای غمت آشنای دیرینه

با تو ما را هوای دیرینه

عمر ما یار چند روزهٔ ماست

عشق تو آشنای دیرینه

گر شبی از درم درآیی شاد

ای تو شادی فزای دیرینه

من فرو ریزم انده نونو

دیده‌ها ماجرای دیرینه

تو جفا‌ها همی کنی و حسن

همچنان بر وفای دیرینه



Rebecca Gould is a writer, scholar, and translator of Persian, Russian, and Georgian poetry. Her work has appeared in The Hudson Review, Nimrod, The Gettysburg Review, Guernica, and Literary Imagination, among many other venues. Gould has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Association of Literary Translators.