Niloofar Fanaiyan is currently a Donald Horne Creative and Cultural Research Fellow at the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research, University of Canberra, where she recently obtained her PhD. She writes poetry and short fiction, and her first book of poetry, Transit, is published this year by Recent Work Press.

Re-thinking Transit

Reading the caravanserai in the twenty-first century

The caravan and the caravanserai have commonly appeared in Eastern poetry as metaphors for the journey of life, the world, and the transience of that journey and place. In the 21st century, arguably defined by the dichotomy of the speed of information technology versus the hours that must still be spent in physical travel, we can begin to re-address these metaphors by searching for their contemporary equivalent, largely in the experience of the long, multi-stop international flight and the hours spent in international airports in transit.