Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Another Birth

Forough Farrokhzad (29 December 1934 – 13 February 1967)

Another Birth

Translations by Ismā'il Salāmi

My entire soul is a murky verse
Reiterating you within itself
Carrying you to the dawn of eternal burstings and blossomings

In this verse, I sighed you, AH!
In this verse,
I grafted you to trees, water and fire

Perhaps life is
A long street along which a woman
With a basket passes every day
Perhaps life
Is a rope with which a man hangs himself from a branch
Perhaps life is a child returning home from school
Perhaps life is the lighting of a cigarette
Between the lethargic intervals of two lovemakings
Or the puzzled passage of a passerby
Tipping his hat
Saying good morning to another passerby with a vacant smile
Perhaps life is that blocked moment
When my look destroys itself in the pupils of your eyes
And in this there is a sense
Which I will mingle with the perception of the moon
And the reception of darkness

In a room the size of one solitude
My heart
The size of one love
Looks at the simple pretexts of its own happiness,

At the pretty withering of flowers in the flower pots
At the sapling you planted in our flowerbed
At the songs of the canaries
Who sing the size of one window.

This is my lot
This is my lot
My lot
Is a sky, which the dropping of a curtain seizes from me
My lot is going down an abandoned stairway
And joining with something in decay and nostalgia
My lot is a cheerless walk in the garden of memories
And dying in the sorrow of a voice that tells me:
"I love
Your hands"
I will plant my hands in the flowerbed
I will sprout, I know, I know, I know
And the sparrows will lay eggs
In the hollows of my inky fingers
I will hang a pair of earrings of red twin cherries
Round my ears
I will put dahlia petals on my nails

There is an alley
Where the boys who were once in love with me,
With those disheveled hairs, thin necks and gaunt legs
Still think of the innocent smiles of a little girl
Who was one night blown away by the wind
There is an alley which my heart
Has stolen from places of my childhood

The journey of a volume along the line of time
And impregnating the barren line of time with a volume
A volume conscious of an image
Returning from the feast of a mirror

This is the way
Someone dies
And someone remains
No fisherman will catch pearls
From a little stream flowing into a ditch

Know a sad little mermaid
Dwelling in the ocean
Softly, gently blowing
Her heart into a wooden flute
A sad little mermaid
Who dies with a kiss at night
And is born again with another kiss at dawn

Forough Farrokhzad (29 December 1934 – 13 February 1967)


  1. A line in there reminded me of that Pink Floyd lyric - "strangers passing in the street by chance do separate glances meet" has gone live. Hope things are picking up in that beautiful country.

    1. It happens not seldom that a "brillant" thought of mine turns out to be an unintended plagiarism.
      I fear, "things" won't be picking up very soon in Persia.
      • And now I am heading over to your youngest "child". ;-)

  2. "It happens not seldom that a "brillant" thought of mine turns out to be an unintended plagiarism."

    I have thought that too
    Who copied who?
    Or whom copied whom?
    Anyone who thinks they have had an original thought
    Probably thought too soon...
    (And I recall the tale of the student who was told by their tutor to try to come up with an original thought, and the student declared that they would find one soon, for the library must surely be full of them...)

    1. Two or three times I was really shocked and disappointed; by now I take it as it is.
      Perhaps I should (have) be(en) reading less. ;-)

    2. I doubt if it is possible to think anything that has not been thought before (other than some new scientific advance); but thankfully it is possible to structure the description of old thoughts in new ways (as someone has probably said before...)

  3. Quite. I think the following is a fine example.
    'Speech was given to man to disguise his thoughts'. Does one believe the internet-majority this aphorism was coined by Talleyrand. And when a majority insists long enough on the same error or fault, this error or fault mostly becomes the new fact or rule.
    I learned, though, that before Talleyrand the same was said by Molière, Voltaire and Young, by Dante and Dionysios, by Cato and Plutarch.
    My friend Tetrapilotomos might know some more "coiners" of this aphorism, but I can't ask him right now, as he is extremely busy with proof-reading the 1669 pages of his opus magnum, 'Pre-Assyrian Philately in a Nutshell'.