July 1 — a glass of wine, a cup of sunshine

Monday, November 14   Shiraz, “the oldest sample of wine in the world”

Poet Fatema Keshavarz reaches deep in time so she can lift up the beauty of Shiraz, her home city in Iran.   Shiraz has lived as a center for art and beauty for c. 4000 years.   Wikipedia tells me that “The oldest sample of wine in the world, dating to approximately 7,000 years ago, was discovered on clay jars recovered outside of Shiraz.”  Detroit is only 319 years old and the United States a lot younger than that, but in these days of terrified immigrants and their children,  of taunts boiling up from decades of grinding working class peoples’ losses, the poet’s praise of her ancient home town in Iran, another home  place of the resonant beauty and raw nerves offers stillness and courage to celebrate the simple beauty of a glass of good wine.

I am using Fatemeh’s poem to celebrate, the U.S.,  this nation of immigrants today.  Lift a glass when you get off work.   Perhaps before that, read the poem out loud, with pauses.

Have a blest day.


john sj


Today’s Post:    “Shiraz”

Held up to gods
In the palm of a giant’s hands
A rare handcrafted marble cup
Brimming with sunshine
Defined at the outer edges
With tall cypress trees
That line up at dawn reverently
To interpret the horizons
In their meticulous green thoughts


My city is
That cup of sunshine
I can drink to the last drop
And be thirsty for more.

Shiraz, Dec.21, 2000


Fatemeh Keshavarz
b. 1952 – Shiraz Iran

Professor Keshavarz, University of Maryland’s Roshan Chair of Persian Studies, is a poet and a scholar.
On September 11, 2014 she read poetry for the university’s annual Celebrate Spirit Mass.


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