Swedish Translations

”Poetry is what gets lost in translation,” Robert Frost once remarked. There is a certain truth in this. One is reminded of it when reading Ashk Dahlén's translations of lyrical masterpieces, those he rendered us by Rumi with Vassflöjtens sång in 2001 och by Fakhr al-din Araqi with Gnistornas bok  in 2006. The translator thinks it is impossible to reproduce the metrical and rythmical subtleties of the Persian original.  

Still he heroically continues with his work. Ashk Dahlén now publishes a selection of transaltions of the great Eastern classic Hafiz (ca 1325–ca 1390), previously translated from German models by Erik Blomberg and from English by Jan Östergren – but Ashk Dahlén does it directly from the Persian. The volume is entitled Dikter and includes no less that 55 of the considerably greater number of poems of Hafiz' famous Diwan.

This is a laudable achievement in itself and the translator has thereto provided the volume with a rich presentation of Hafiz. In a series of essays – ”The Man”, ”The Poet”, ”The Mystic”, ”The Symbolic language of Hafiz” and ”Hafiz in Europe” – Dahlén succeeds in sixty pages to say a lot about Hafiz and his times during the flourishing literary period of 14th century Persia. It is a rich presentation, a cultural achievement of high quality.”


Tommy Olofsson, Svenska Dagbladet

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Sa'di (1200-talet)