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Orbit of Exiled Poetry
Abol Froushan
sat at my mother’s English lessons with our private tutor, Miss Mary who came to our house in Tehran. Later at school I wondered how the teacher would explain the same lessons in English. I was lured by jazz and rock, built up a mental map of life in Paris, London or New York through film sets in contemporary cinema. I painted as a teenager and was keen on modern movements in European fine arts, which continues in my photography since I came to London as a young student and decided to stay on after my PhD. 
 
Now, having spent a majority of my life and education in England, thinking and speaking in English is second nature. English has swapped places with Persian, as my primary language of thinking, writing and reading in English poetry circles.  On the other hand modern Persian poets such as Forough Farrokhzad, Sohrab Sepehri, Ahmad Shamloo who were pathbreaking in poetic style and expression, were important literary influences in my teens. And retrospectively, a lot of my poems in English seem to share the stylistic pre-occupations of the third generation of modern poets whom I have been introducing to the English speaking world through translation. 
 
Nevertheless in terms of social identity, this swapping of places has been harder to come by in this England where your origins is part of every social introduction. So in the orbit of the poetry scene in London, I’m often billed as an Iranian poet, with an ambiguous language positioned between two worlds, as in the British Library Sound Archives. A trend that has been reinforced by my involvement with Exiled Writers Ink and my introduction of contemporary Persian poets such as Ali Abdolrezaei or Mehrdad Fallah through Poetry International Web or other literary sites. My project, as with "London Skool" is to break these barriers through literary dialogue in English.
 
My poem London Eye is also about being locked in orbits of one kind or other - the repetitive cycles in life and nature at every level - from the big wheel of London Eye or the runaway bicycle wheel of the years with its recurring celebration of Christmas at the family circle, down to the atomic orbit. The poem speaks of the wish to get out of the rut, like electrons do, given just enough quantum of energy to jump orbit. 


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