A groundbreaking collection of poetry by eight contemporary Afghan women poets in English translation en face with the original Persian Dari text. These poets live in Herat, the ancient epicenter of literature and the arts.
Poetry: Letters to War and Lethe
Letters to War and Lethe (2014) is a chapbook of poems about war: its deprivations, its strange gifts, and its remembrances.
Video trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hr2tgGyzKG8
“Writing bravely and eloquently from the point of view of a woman war veteran, Farzana Marie gives us a vision of war and its more terrible aftermath that we haven't seen yet. However deeply sorrowful these songs most often are, we are made wiser by their presence among us. Not the least important accomplishment in this collection of poetry is a virtuoso performance by someone who understands the entire range of musical options that prosody is and therefore deftly weaves meaning and form together into a richly formal tapestry. I am happy to welcome you to this fine talent and these powerfully real poems.”
—Bruce Weigl (Vietnam veteran, poet)
“These poems burst with a woman’s experience of combat and the fracture of bringing it home. Whether set in Afghanistan or an American supermarket, they upset platitudes and assumptions about those who fight, what they remember, and who speaks for them. In her observation of an Afghan girl who prefers ‘to keep/ doing little girls’ chores’ because ‘growing up is like stepping/into a field that may/or may not be de-mined,’ Farzana Marie discovers that ‘the girl who could not speak shouted loudest at the end.’ Her book is an essential addition to the literature of war and remembrance.”
—Joyce Peseroff (Boston-based poet)
"Farzana Marie's book is a fascinating primer... a readable, thoughtful presentation that deserves a wide readership."
—BlueInk Book Reviews