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A New Divan: A West-Eastern Dialogue in Poetry and Music with Simon Wallfisch

Saturday June 29, 2019 at 15:00
Bradford Cathedral, Bradford
£7; students, registered disabled, senior citizens £3; state pension, benefits, refugees £1
Book Online
Tickets "at the door" - until sold out
  1. 8 Hafis-Lieder Op 5 - Gottfried von Einem, lyrics translation by Hans Bethge

In 1814 the German poet Goethe read the poems of the great 14th century Persian poet Hafiz in a new German translation and was immediately inspired to create a Divan of his own. Not long afterwards he met Marianne von Willemer, who became Suleika to his Hatem and the conversation begun with Hafiz blossomed into a duet for two lovers: the result was the West-Eastern Divan (1819), which transformed European poetry.

To mark the 200th anniversary of this major work of world literature, two new books have just been published: a complete, annotated translation of the West-Eastern Divan by Eric Ormsby and A New Divan: A Lyrical Dialogue between East and West by 24 leading contemporary poets – 12 from the ‘East’ and 12 from the ‘West’ – who have written poems especially for the collection on the themes of the 12 books of Goethe’s Divan but speaking to today’s world.

In this celebratory event, Eric Ormsby will introduce the Divans of Hafiz and Goethe. A number of the contemporary poets, including Mourid Barghouti and Fatemeh Shams will read their original compositions, while the English-language versions will be read by George Szirtes and Narguess Farzad.

The conversation in poetry will be matched by a musical dialogue drawing on the repertoire of Viktor Ullmann, Gottfried von Einem and Franz Schubert.

Bradford Cathedral
Stott Hill
West Yorkshire
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