Selected English Translations


Secret
   (from Az Khāmooshi, 1977)

From the realm of sea
With maternal love
Rushed to sandy shores,
Water.

Round the sand she turned
Washed away the gloom
Off its dusty face,
Water.

Of the sand dwellers,
I am not aware,
What the sandy shore
Told the tender wave.
That to kill herself,
Time and time again
Hit her head against
Rock and stone and sand,
Water.

Translated by Faranak Moshiri, 2001


In That Fair World
   (from Rishe Dar Khāk, 1985)

May I be allowed,
To behold the hue of that fresh blossom
As I stand at the base of this wall?

And, through this bloody, thorny fence,
This barbed wire,
May I drink a sip of springwater?

May I be allowed ?Outside, In Front of the Door?1
And to regain my strength,
Rest by this tree, may I?

Or, must I pass through this road,
A stranger, now and always,
Swallow centuries of ?YOU MAY NOT,?
Like a dagger piercing my patient throat?

In the shadowland of this vast cerulean tent,
It would have been fair,
If trees, land, water or sunshine,
Did not belong to anyone!
Or, better yet,
Belonged to all.

A world of friends, all familiar,
One big house, this globe, and its dwellers,
One family,
Bond by fibers of their souls!

Together, for one another,
With helpful hands,
Keeping pace.

In that fair world,
Green meadows have the horizon for border!
Flower gardens have walls of breeze!

With each blooming sprout,
The surging of light,
The rapture of love.
In every song,
The warmth of a caress,
The tune of compassion.
Gardeners? smiles shine like lanterns,
Farmers? chants soar to heavens!

We toil together.
Hearts, abundant with joy of living,
Faces, fresh as gardens of miniature roses,
Eyes, teeming with love!
We sow love like seeds in soil.
We compose poetry like buds on trees!

We, and everyone alike,
Full of music,
Free of bonds,
Emancipated,
Fortunate ...


1 Wolfgang Borchert

Translated by Faranak Moshiri, 1997


Repressed Rage
   (from Az Khāmooshi, 1977)

With what heart am I sitting,
- serene and unperturbed -
Contemplating the death of water, air and plant?
The death of life?

With what might
Have I remained silent
To the throes of birds
Dying amid this heavy dust?

In destruction of forest
In annihilation of the Sea
In massacre of fish
With what patience
Have I not bellowed?
Oh ... !

Battle of the Good and the Evil
Which had broken out
From the Primordial Dawn
Is now sunk in a deep long night.

The Good has fled to another land
This is its warm blood shrouding the earth
Wherever we set foot.

Within the plight of perturbation,
What are we now doing mute and ireful?
In nostalgia of what road
Shall we vent our repressed rage
From within our weary chests?

O unborn Child!
O distant desire!
When will you emerge?
O blurry light, hardly visible to my eyes
When will you emanate?
Help today - for tomorrow
Will never come-
A weary Man who seeks salvation in you.

Translated by Ismail Salami, 2003


Memo
   (from Bahār Rā Bāvar Kon, 1967)

This aged poplar, never at rest from our clamour
This school yard
These innocent doves which we used to feed
This very alley, this very blind alley
This very house, this very threshold!
This very portico, this very door, Ah!

From deserts parched and dry
A hundredfold furlong from every direction.
In an eve, violet-hued
With far-off vague addresses
I arrived, mayhap to hear
My past seven years
From the hints of a door!
From the silent glance of one window, one glass, one wall
Within the altar
Within the alley
Within the bazaar!

I arrived, mayhap to find myself
With a small yellow bag on my back
A spear in hand, from reed pens.
Ears red with cold
Walking upon the cobblestones rough and uneven
I arrived mayhap to open
My eyes to those of Mother
On a sudden turn of the alley.

Mayhap to weep out the longing of past years.
Or to exchange in a passionate embrace
What we have for a lifetime concealed
in the recesses of our souls.

Nothing!

Amid the crowds of pilgrims
-From head to foot-
Some cry may have remained from her
in the turmoil of these cries
Though vague it might be!

Within the portico, cold and silent
I ran through the glance of a thousandfold small mirror
From her countenance, within the reflection
of all these images
Some shadow may have remained
Though vague it might be!

Nothing!

Nothing but the dark sourness of shrine
Nothing but the candles and the tale of melting in tears
Nothing but the astonishment of the Altar, Ah!
Nothing but the anticipation of threshold.

I returned!
Fatally wounded, eternally forlorn!

From deserts, parched and dry, a hundredfold furlong,
a hundredfold furlong
Before my eyes, a whirlpool raised
The desert dust- as If my heart- spiralling,
Carrying it into the distance!

I do not know
Was it the curse of this Miserable Wight,
pouring within the blind eyes of the Heaven?
Or was it the travelling wind,
wafting the souvenir of Man to the Throne of God?

Onto dust you will return!
From the mirrors, you will be erased.
Like a confused pall of dust,
you will be lost in the Skies.


Translated by Ismail Salami, 2003