LITERARY SALON: The Poetry of Mohammad Reza Shafii Kadkani: Visual Interpretations

This poetic and visual celebration of Mohammad Reza Shafii Kadkani’s work is based on the award-winning book In the Mirror of the Stream: Selected Poems of Shafii Kadkani, Translations and Paintings by Pari Azarm Motamedi, Edited by Alan Williams, Sokhan Publishers, Tehran, 2008, which won the Parvin Etesami Literary Award in 2011 for Best Translation. More recent poems, not yet published in a book form, and paintings inspired by them, will also be presented.

The poetry of Shafii Kadkani has been influenced by a lifetime of research and contemplation of historical and socio-cultural events and developments in Iran, a firm commitment to the ideals of freedom, respect for humanity, and love of Iran. In terms of subject matter his poems broadly encompass the following areas, samples of which will be offered to the audience in English and in Persian:
• Poems that are thoughtful meditations and contemplations on the universal, unanswerable questions of human existence and experience.
• Poems arising from a deep humane concern and anguish about the socio-political trends and events in the world and more specifically in Iran.
• Poems that convey the response of the poet to immediate, spontaneous moments of life illuminating for him a clear spiritual or existential truth or experience, which he shares with the reader.

The poetry recital enfolds against a backdrop of paintings inspired by his work, highlighting how the multi-layered, multi-faceted poetic image is perceived, interpreted and expressed in the visual language of my art. Entwining the two, a fleeting glance at the elements that have influenced the development of the visual vocabulary and language of my paintings—life
experiences, and aspects of the cultural and artistic heritage of Iran—concludes the presentation.