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A celebration of Persian poetry will take place on Sunday afternoon, June 21, 2009, in Tacoma.  --  The event will express appreciation for the extraordinary contributions of Persian or Iranian culture to the history of humanity.  --  Since in Iran light is a symbol of the presence of the spiritual in the material world, as in 2006 we will pay tribute to this contribution on the solstice in a beautiful North Tacoma rose garden with a gazebo with a view of Commencement Bay outside UFPPC member Burk Ketcham's place.  --  The celebration will feature both classical and modern poetry read both in English translation and in the original Farsi, with ample time for conversation, conviviality, and refreshment.  --  More information below....

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WHAT:  “Wake!”: A garden solstice celebration of Persian poetry
WHO:  Firdausi, Saadi, Omar Khayyam, Rumi, and Hafiz (in spirit)
WHEN:  Sunday, June 21, 2009, 4:00 p.m.
WHERE:  420 North 4th Street, Tacoma, WA

Historically, poetry has deeply infused Iranian culture, and Western travellers often remarked on the knowledge and recital of the best classical Persian poetry by even unlettered men and women.

Poets like Firdausi, Saadi, Omar Khayyam, Rumi, and Hafiz have indelibly marked not only Iranian but world literature, though historians like Nikki Keddie note that poetry is "[a]mong the multiclass cultural forms that have declined visibly even in the past twenty years" (Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution [Yale University Press, 2003], p. 172). 

Since in Iran light is a symbol of the presence of the spiritual in the material world, we will celebrate this contribution on the solstice in a beautiful North Tacoma rose garden with a gazebo with a view of Commencement Bay outside UFPPC member Burk Ketcham's place.

This celebration will feature both classical and modern poetry read both in English translation and in the original Farsi, with ample time for conversation, conviviality, and refreshment (wine and Persian pastries).

All human beings are in truth akin;
All in creation share one origin.
When fate allots a member pangs and pains,
No ease for other members then remains.
If, unperturbed, another's grief canst scan,
Thou are not worthy of the name of man. —Saadi.

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This event is sponsored by United for Peace of Pierce County, which supports dialogue with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

UFPPC (www.ufppc.org) meets at 7:00 p.m. on 1st and 3rd Thursdays, First United Methodist Church, 621 Tacoma Avenue South, Tacoma, WA.