The poetry of Ayatollah Khomeini

Daniel Kalder in the Books Blog of The Guardian:

ScreenHunter_04 Feb. 17 14.01 This was what I was really interested in – something that would reveal a side of Khomeini unknown to those of us in the west; a more tender aspect of the bearded, reactionary theocrat.

And what a poem! If the first two lines are startling:

I have become imprisoned, O beloved, by the mole on your lip!
I saw your ailing eyes and became ill through love.

Then what follows a few lines down is absolutely amazing:

Open the door of the tavern and let us go there day and night,
For I am sick and tired of the mosque and seminary.

The whole thing ends with a repudiation of Islam in favour of the “tavern's idol”.

Even allowing for the fact that the Ayatollah is utilising a poetic persona, the poem is remarkable: free thinking, even heretical.

More here.

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