December 2006

Soheila Ghaussy


Tony Barnstone
  "A Manifesto on the Contemporary Sonnet: A Personal Aesthetics"
Tony Barnstone considers the sonnet from its formal beginnings to its evolution into the twenty-first century, including some generative techniques for sonnets of your own

Tony Barnstone

Willis Barnstone
Lorna Knowles Blake
Kim Bridgford
Billy Collins
Leisha Douglas
Barry Ergang
Ross A. Gay
Soheila Ghaussy This marks an author's first online publication
Miranda Girard This marks an author's first online publication
Myrna Goodman This marks an author's first online publication
Susan Gubernat
Heidi Hart
Jay Leeming This marks an author's first online publication
Anne Marie Macari

Patricia O'Hara
John Poch
Michael Salcman
Patricia Smith
A.E. Stallings

Gerald Stern
Joyce Sutphen
Jeet Thayil
Meredith Trede This marks an author's first online publication


This marks an author's first online publication Soheila Ghaussy, born in Hamburg, Germany, grew up in Kabul, Afghanistan. She earned a Master's degree in English and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Hamburg, where she also served as an editor of the Hamburg Open Poetry Circle. She earned a doctorate in Comparative Literature after moving to the U.S. and is currently employed as a professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art. A multilingual writer, she has published scholarly articles in both English and German journals.

Dancer    Click to hear in real audio

She comes to hagallah once a week,
beckoning me, stirring
loose earth with her bare sole.
A twirling hand, a dervish turn

and the chain of gold around her hips
skips, tipsy with her shimmy.
Breathtaking how
her copper skin sparkles.

When she spins, her curves
become my world, her pulse
woos one of my forgotten veins,
and I shake. Bismillah!

She flashes her charms.
I am the henna in her palms.

the hagallah ['ha- gula] is an oriental dance from Libya and Egypt that
celebrates the coming-of-age of a young woman who performs a belly dance
solo while veiled and facing a line of potential husbands who accompany
her by clapping their hands

Bismillah (the first line in Islamic prayers that translates into "in the name
of God" and is used to request God's protection) also serves as an idiomatic
expression for a range of reactions from wonder and thankfulness to anger
and outrage



Soheila Ghaussy: Poetry
Copyright ©2006 The Cortland Review December 2006 FeatureThe Cortland Review