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THE IMAGINARY GARDEN

Poet: Mahvash Sabet 

translated and adapted into English by Bahiyyih Nakhjavani

TITLE

VOICING/INSTRUMENT

The Imaginary Garden

SSAATTBB / a cappella

The Imaginary Garden

SSSSAAAA / a cappella

TIME

4m15s

PRICE (per copy)

2.00$ CAD

AUDIO

4m15s

2.00$ CAD

VIEW SCORE

SATB

SSAA

TEXT

Available on perusal/sample score.

PROGRAM NOTES

“The Imaginary Garden” is a piece of hope, steadfastness, and determination during trials and tribulations. Mahvash Sabet, the author of the poem “The Imaginary Garden”, was one of the seven Bahá’í leaders in Iran who was sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment as prisoners of faith in 2008. Mrs Sabet was a school principal and was stripped of her role during the Islamic Revolution because of her adherence to the Bahá’í Faith - but this did not stop her from covertly teaching all the children and youth around her from persecuted communities, Bahá’í or not, who were devoid of the basic human right to education.

Despite her hardships in prison, Mrs Sabet still held firmly to her love of God, and to the utmost conviction that it was still her duty to teach. In this poem, she evokes others who have come before her and, like herself, have found ways to continue their tasks through unconventional means that circumvented the bars keeping them captive. The imagery of the wind picking up her materials to reach those that would be taught by her is what drives this piece.

The poem comes from a collection of short texts, scribbled on small pieces of paper and napkins, that Mrs Sabet’s family and friends snuck out of prison after visiting hours. The poems were shared with friends outside of Iran, who then translated them into English. The collection as a whole was published under the name of “Prison Poems”, by George Ronald, Publisher in Oxford, while Mrs Sabet was still in prison.

Winner of the Eastern Horizon Choral Writing Competition, hosted by Choirs For Change

MARIE-CLAIRE SAINDON

musiques chorales, instrumentales, traditionnelles, et multimédias
choral, instrumental, traditional, and multimedia music