Category Archives: poetry

4 Reasons Poetry Liberates Mind, Body and Soul – Poetry & Iran

How a New York City Girl Came to Love High School in Iran

Shaghayegh "Sharon" Farsijani

Shaghayegh “Sharon” Farsijani

Iran is a beautiful country with one of the world’s richest heritages, but for an American teenager raised in New York City, moving there can be a potentially painful culture shock.

When Shaghayegh “Sharon” Farsijani’s father took her to Iran to experience the traditions of his birthplace, she found beauty in unexpected ways.

“Imagine this: you’re a Brooklyn girl and, just as you’re entering into the most transformative period of your life – the teenage years – you move to a very religiously observant country, where liberties American girls take for granted can get you into lots of trouble,” says Shaghayegh “Sharon” Farsijani, author of the new book, “Lacking Lips of Time.”

Like the other girls at her school, Farsijani wore a burqa, although hers was not the head-to-toe robe common in Arab countries.

“My burqa covered my head and down to the hip, and under it I wore a ‘manto,’ which is similar to a raincoat to cover the rest of my body,” she says.

But while the modest garments required for women hid much from the eyes, Farsijani discovered they could still see into each other’s hearts. They shared many of the same feelings — likes and dislikes curiosity and yearnings, joy in all of the sensations of light, sound, smell, taste and touch.

“We were different but we were very much alike,” she says.

Muslim women wearing burqas - from blog in

Muslim women wearing burqas – Photo credit: National Secular Society, http://www.secularism.org.uk/blog/2012/08/women-can-choose-to-wear-the-burka–but-can-they-choose-not-to

As she tried to adjust to the more restrictive Muslim rules governing women in Iran, Farsijani discovered a powerful source of freedom. Not only did writing poetry allow her to explore and express her own feelings, it helped her understand and appreciate the beauty in the new world around her.

“Whether or not you ever share your poetry, it can be the catalyst for turning a difficult experience into a time of growth and appreciation,” she says.

She offers four reasons why:

• Poetry is one of the freest forms of written art: Poetry is nearly as diverse as the many cultures of the world. There are limericks, haikus and sonnets among structured forms, but there are many free-verse styles that have changed the world, including rap. Poetry is one of the least encumbered forms of written and spoken expression; it is by its very nature liberating.

• It provides a safe place to express what is publicly taboo or prohibited: The very conservative values of today’s Iran means it’s often not socially acceptable for teenage girls to express themselves in terms of personal fashion choices or in behaviors such as dating boys. It was the intuitive nature of poetry that helped Farsijani open the door to the deep inner sensuality of her being.

• It can express a great deal in comparatively few words: Poetry written in English, for example, can seem like a foreign language to many English speakers who do not know how to feel the written and spoken word. While those who’ve never experienced poetry in its fullness may not understand it, poets and poetry lovers appreciate its ability to express the ineffable.

• Easily memorized, it’s also easily recalled when needed: Before the printed word became accessible to the average person with the Gutenberg press, poetry’s rhythm and rhyme verse schemes were used to memorize vast quantities of information. Similarly, a line written and remembered by a young girl enduring social pressure can serve as a mantra — a life raft for sanity and personal integrity.

“It wasn’t easy, but with the help of poetry, I was able to endure challenging teenage years in Iran, which I was finally able to see as beautiful,” Farsijani says.

Farsijani - book signing in New York City - Photo credit:  Sharon Khanoom

Farsijani – book signing in New York City – Photo credit: Sharon Khanoom

About Shaghayegh “Sharon” Farsijani

Shaghayegh “Sharon” Farsijani has a cultural background that is as diverse as her poetry is sensual. Born in New York City, she moved to Tehran with her father, a native Iranian who wanted her to experience the culture of her ancestors. She eventually made her way to California, then to Paris and finally New York City again. After working as a reporter, graduating with her MBA and traveling extensively, she embarked on a journey to write with a deeper focus, culminating in her first book of poetry.

The foregoing article was provided by the PR firm News and Experts, a division of EMS Incorporated, and used with permission.

Lacking Lips of Time

Lacking Lips of Time - Poetry by Shaghayegh “Sharon” Farsijani

Lacking Lips of Time – Poetry by Shaghayegh “Sharon” Farsijani

Shaghayegh Farsijani’s first published poetry collection, Lacking Lips of Time, is an intrinsic look into deep experiences and feelings many of us have left orphaned, dusted, and alone. She gives natural life to anything with the power of sensuality at its peak like an artist splashing colors to everyday nouns and verbs. She will reach out and give life to suppressed and sleeping emotions deep within your soul. Her work is like timeless fractals of the human condition dancing on fearless poppies.  (Taken from descriptions at Sharon Farsijani’s website home page.)   

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The Longest Wait

This is a poem I wrote 15 years ago during a time of poetry-writing in my life.  Some of them were not bad, some of them were not so good, but this was one of the fun ones 🙂  Just to explain one verse about being sick…when I was small I was sick with a bad cold or the flu every Christmas.  It was almost a tradition.

THE LONGEST WAIT

Wanted: Santa Claus

Image by kevin dooley via Flickr

by Sandra Bell Kirchman

The longest time I ever waited
Probably makes me seem outdated
‘Twas waiting for the day of Yule
And waiting time just seemed too cruel

It’s only 20 sleeps, she said
My mother dear who’s now long dead
You only have to wait that long
Before you hear the Yuletide gong

19, 18, 17, ack
I couldn’t wait to see that pack
Filled with toys and other things
Which made us feel like queens and kings

16, 15, oh dear lord
It’s not that I just want to hoard
It’s that it’s magical ya know
He flies the skies like driven snow

14, 13, getting close
I’m sick so pour another dose
Medicine won’t get me well
The only thing is Santa’s bell

12, 11, 10…now 9!
My cheeks a-quiver, eyes a-shine
Single digit days are great
But ohmigosh I still must wait

8 and 7, 6 and 5,
Santa knows that I’m alive
Doesn’t he, oh tell me true
That he won’t miss and sail right through?

4 and 3 and 2, oh, wow!
He’s coming any minute now
No, wait, there’s one more day to bear
But Christmastime is in the air

And now the countdown is complete
With all the presents at my feet
Childish laughter fills the house
What mem’ries as I click my mouse.

© 1996 Sandra Bell Kirchman

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my blogging friends and readers. Thanks for all your support and encouragement..

A Dragon’s Belch

I wrote this poem a number of years ago just for fun.  Every time I read it, I chuckle.  Here it is for you to read; perhaps you’ll get a chuckle out of it too.

A Dragon‘s Belch

by Sandra Bell Kirchman

The dragon is listening to his mother carefully.

“Don’t burp,” my mother said to me
I thought it best to heed
When I was just a little lad
And barely on my feed.

“Don’t belch, my son, close mouth,” said she
I sealed my lips with tape
I held my breath and crunched my teeth
So not a puff escaped

“Refrain from breathing heavily
“These mortals are so frail
“And cinderizing breathing might
“Just land you, son, in jail”

And so through teens and twenties
I just kept my mouth in line
I never burped, I never belched
And got along just fine

Then one day I ate those beans
Renowned to make you blow
And though I squelched quite mightily
The fire, it blazed below

I cried and shivered o’er the world
As flying high I strove
To keep from singeing mortals
Yea, I swooped and ducked and dove

Alas, I could not keep it up
As gases swelled within
I opened up and let ‘er rip
The flame streaked past my chin

I gasped and tried to suck it back
But all I got was smoke
The beans had charcoal-broiled the mayor
Don’t laugh; it’s not a joke

And so the moral of this tale
Beware the bean, my friend
My mother’s counsel failed to count
The bean’s vast blowing trend

Absolutely, positively no beans allowed.

I know that others will be doomed
If beans they munch upon
If only Maw had thought to say…
“Eschew the bean, my son!”