Biography of Dick Davis
Dick Davis is a British poet, and translator. He is professor emeritus of Persian at Ohio State University. He has written scholarly works on both English and Persian literature, as well as eight volumes of his own poetry, and been the recipient of numerous academic and literary awards, including both the Ingram Merrill and Heinemann awards for poetry. His publications include volumes of poetry and verse translation chosen as books of the year by The Sunday Times (UK) in 1989; The Daily Telegraph (UK) in 1989; The Economist (UK) in 2002; The Washington Post in 2010, and The Times Literary Supplement (UK) in 2013. He has published numerous book-length verse translations from medieval Persian, most recently, Faces of Love: Hafez and the Poets of Shiraz (2012). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and has been called, by The Times Literary Supplement, “our finest translator from Persian”.
Dick Davis Poems
A Monorhyme For The Shower
Lifting her arms to soap her hair Her pretty breasts respond – and there The movement of that buoyant pair Is like a spell to make me swear
A Translator's Nightmare
I think it must have been in Limbo where, As Dante says, the better poets share Old friendships, rivalries, once famous fights And, now they've left it, set the world to rights.
Iran Twenty Years Ago
Each summer, working there, I’d set off for The fabled cities – Esfahan, Kashan, Or Ecbatana, where Hephaestion died, The poets’ towns – Shiraz and Nayshapour,
For Joshua Mehigan These are the dawn thoughts of an atheist Vaguely embarrassed by what looks like grace:
The first night that I slept with you And slept, I dreamt (these lines are true): Now newly married we had moved Into an unkempt house we loved –
Guides For The Soul
Who thickens from the shadows as you die? Who silences your comprehending cry? Emblem of all you lost and now inherit,
The sun comes up, and soon The night’s thin fall of snow Fades from the grass as if It could not wait to go.
Baucis And Philemon
Life lies to hand in hoe, spade, pruning-knife, Plain wooden furniture and wattle walls, In those unspoken words ‘my husband’, ‘wife’, In one another’s flesh which still recalls
Desert Stop At Noon
The house is one bare room And only tea is served. The old man, mild, reserved, Shuffles into a gloom
Touring A Past
The ruins, which are not very remarkable, are situated on an island which is almost impossible to reach ... Hachette Guide to the Middle East, p.1003.
for Sarah Davis The portrait of the princess lies In scattered fragments on the floor;
Memories Of Cochin
an epithalamium Through high defiles of warehouses that dwarf With undetermined age the passer-by,
Once, when I was a child of seven or eight, I turned a corner on a wooded path And saw a fox a few feet from my face. We stood stock still and took each other in:
Edgar (i.m. Edgar Bowers, 1924 - 2000)
A few things that recall you to me, Edgar: A stately 80's Buick; hearing a car Referred to by a coaxing soubriquet -
Iran Twenty Years Ago
Each summer, working there, I’d set off for
The fabled cities – Esfahan, Kashan,
Or Ecbatana, where Hephaestion died,
The poets’ towns – Shiraz and Nayshapour,
Or sites now hardly more than villages
Lapped by the desert, Na’in or Ardestan . . .
Their names now mean a dusty backstreet somewhere
Empty and silent in the vivid sunlight,