The book which has been translated into English by Idra Novey and Ahmad Nadalizadeh features poems from four earlier poetry books by Garous Abdol-Malekian including ‘The Hidden Bird’ (2002), ‘The Faded Colors of the World’ (2005), ‘Lines Change Places in the Dark’ (2008).
‘Lean against This Late Hour’ is introduced as: “A mesmerizing, disorienting descent into the trauma of loss and its aftermath. In spare lines, Abdolmalekian conjures surreal, cinematic images that pan wide as deftly as they narrow into intimate focus. Time is a thread come unspooled: pain arrives before the wound, and the dead wait for sunrise.
Abdolmalekian resists definitive separations between cause and effect, life and death, or heaven and hell, and challenges our sense of what is fixed and what is unsettled and permeable. Though the speakers in these poems are witnesses to the deforming effects of grief and memory, they remain alive to curiosity, to the pleasure of companionship, and to other ways of being and seeing. ‘Lean Against This Late Hour’ illuminates the images we conjure in the face of abandonment and ruin, and finds them by turns frightening, bewildering, ethereal, and defiant. “This time,” a disembodied voice commands, “send us a prophet who only listens.”
An acclaimed poet, Abdolmalekian is the recipient of the Karnameh Poetry Book of the Year Award (2003) and the winner of the Iranian Youth Poetry Book Prize (2006). He has also participated in International poetry events, such as the Voix Vives poetry festival in France (2011). His poems have been translated into Arabic, French, German, Kurdish and Spanish as well.