IMAGE & POEM (NOVEMBER 2009)

About A Dream Of Persia

This poem is inspired by two  important elements, (1) the dream of a  young woman who went to Iran to study its culture and people; and (2) this beautifully haunting painting by Marie-France, called "L'Infante en fleurs".  The girl in the picture symbolizes the spirit of Persia which this French Student, Clotilde Reiss, loved and admired.  As a child  in Paris , her Iranian nurse introduced her to the folklore, customs and history of this fascinating nation. This was not the fanatic regime of Islamic extremists, but a civilization that thrived on grace and art embodied in their gardens, buildings and literature. Clotilde envisioned  these scenes emanating from Persia 's past as her reason for adoring the country and its society.

  The lines of my poem personify Persia as the muse who both cultivates Clotilde's artistic intellect and leads her eastward. This spiritual guide also forges her feminine  strength and character when she is unjustly accused of spying during the political demonstrations that took place in  Iran this past Summer. Without substantial proof or reason, Iranian authorities seized and arrested her. Her only crime was taking pictures with a mobile phone to record events through e-mail and cellular photos. Forced to endure a mock trial and plead guilty to a crime she did not commit,  Cotilde was eventually released into the  custody of The French Embassy. There, she now awaits for further news of her release and ability to return home to France .

  Like so many young people who have aspirations of touching the world with their humanity and also having the humanity of other cultures touch their own,  Clotilde Reiss shines as a beautiful example of this premise. Her first name, itself, originates from  Germanic  roots  meaning "renowned in battle".  And so she now waits,  a heroine battling  in silence to retain hope and prevail.  For more information on her story and life, please click on this article called,   Clotilde Reiss: Lover of Iran, Prisoner of Evin.


© 2011, Wendy Howe. E-mail.