|Poetry Competition, Iran (circa 1600)
||[Sep. 18th, 2017 10:42 am]
Painted on square pieces of lacquered brick,
two poets kneel opposite each other
shaded by the canopy of a tree
with broad leaves and delicate, pink flowers.
At the right, in a saffron-colored robe,
head lowered over a sheet of paper,
one of them lifts his pen from an ink pot,
preparing to write a brand new stanza.
The other, in a cerulean gown,
a yellow scarf wrapped around his back,
stretches out both hands in front of him
as he recites a freshly composed verse.
Behind them on the emerald lawn,
wearing a dark vestment adorned with flames,
stands the judge who listens to each contestant
before she decides which is the winner -
and what a difficult choice it must be,
for you can feel almost equal refreshment
from their lyric voices, like a cool breeze
that moves through a garden on a hot day.