Farsi Poetry Night

On a whim, I decided one night that I really wanted to hear what Farsi sounded like. The Farsi department at OU was putting on a poetry reading competition in Farzaneh Hall, and although I knew not a whit of Farsi, I figured it would be fairly educational. I was totally wrong but it WAS really cool. The poems sounded beautiful both in their original language and in English. The subject matter was all either very depressing or about almost creepily intense love, though is that reeeeally much different from English poetry? In speaking, the language almost sounded like a mix between Arabic and French, with some pretty key Arabic letters like ayhn and ghayn making a guest appearance with a bit of a softer lilt. The language also flowed differently from Arabic, with more “smoothness” to the words minus Arabic’s musical feel. After I listened to a few pieces, I looked up the Persian script and it was remarkably similar to Arabic. There are a few major differences, such as Farsi having a “p” sound and letter (why is that even missing in Arabic??), but overall the script and the language itself were very similar. Some other cool things about the competition were that they served some traditional Persian snacks, like pomegranate seeds, and some people even came with traditional Persian clothing. One dude even came in those curly-toed shoes they always have in movies, which was a childhood dream come true to see. I only wish I could pull them off myself… Overall, I was happy to have gone and seen it, if only for the perspective it afforded me towards Arabic. I may not have understood anything, but I certainly could appreciate it, which is what really counted.

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