English Translations of selected Poems and Poetry of the great Iranian Poet Forugh Farrokhzad فروغ فرخزاد

Forugh, one of the most famous Persian Women poets died in a car crash February 13, 1967 at the young age of 32. Poems such as “Reborn”, “The Wind Will Take Us”, “Sin” and “Let us believe in the dawn of the cold season” left an unmistakeably unique and indelible mark on Middle Eastern literature. Excerpts of her work are accompanied by photos and two live interviews in her own voice.


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 narcotic repose 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
I 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

heliotricity graphic


The Wind Will Take Us

In my small night, ah
the wind has a date with the leaves of the trees
in my small night there is agony of destruction
do you hear the darkness blowing?
I look upon this bliss as a stranger
I am addicted to my despair.

listen do you hear the darkness blowing?
something is passing in the night
the moon is restless and red
and over this rooftop
where crumbling is a constant fear
clouds, like a procession of mourners
seem to be waiting for the moment of rain.
a moment
and then nothing
night shudders beyond this window
and the earth winds to a halt
beyond this window
something unknown is watching you and me.

O green from head to foot
place your hands like a burning memory
in my loving hands
give your lips to the caresses
of my loving lips
like the warm perception of being
the wind will take us
the wind will take us.

beautiful image

One window is sufficient
One window for beholding
One window for hearing
One window
resembling a well’s ring
reaching the earth at the finiteness of its heart
and opening towards the expanse of this repetitive blue kindness
one window filing the small hands of loneliness
with nocturnal benevolence
of the fragrance of wondrous stars
and thereof,
one can summon the sun
to the alienation of geraniums.

One window will suffice me.

I come from the homeland of dolls
from beneath the shades of paper-trees
in the garden of a picture book
from the dry seasons of impotent experiences in friendship and love
in the soil-covered alleys of innocence
from the years of growing pale alphabet letters
behind the desks of the tuberculous school
from the minute that children could write “stone”
on the blackboard
and the frenzied starlings would fly away
from the ancient tree.

I come from the midst of carnivorous plant roots
and my brain is still overflowed
by a butterfly’s terrifying shriek
crucified with pins
onto a notebook.

When my trust was suspended from the fragile thread of justice
and in the whole city
they were chopping up my heart’s lanterns
when they would blindfold me
with the dark handkerchief of Law
and from my anxios temples of desire
fountains of blood would squirt out
when my life had become nothing
but the tic-tac of a clock,
I discovered
I must
must love,

One window will suffice me
one window to the moment of awareness
and silence.
the walnut sapling
has grown so tall that it can interpret the wall
by its youthful leaves.

Ask the mirror
the redeemer’s name.
Isn’t the shivering earth beneath your feet lonelier than you?
the prophets brought the mission of destruction to our century
aren’t these consecutive explosions
and poisonous clouds
the reverberation of the sacred verses?
when your reach the moon
write the history of flower massacres.

Dreams always plunge down from their naive height
and die.
I smell the four-petal clover
which has grown on the tomb of archaic meanings.

Wasn’t the woman
buried in the shroud of anticipation and innocence,
my youth?

Will I step up the stairs of curiosity
to greet the good God who strolls on the rooftop?

I feel that “time” has passed
I feel that “moment” is my share of history’s pages
I feel that “desk” is a feigned distance
between my tresses
and the hands of this sad stranger.

Talk to me
What else would the one offering the kindness of a live flesh want from
but the understanding of the sensation of existence.

Talk to me
I am in the window’s refuge
I have a relationship with the Sun.

forugh farrokhzad graphic

Someone Who Is Not Like Anyone
From the summer of 1964 through December 1966, Farrokhzad published five poems in various issues of Arash. One of them was “Someone Who Is Not Like Anyone” (1966). In it, she scrutinizes the new Pahlavi Tehran of modern, Westernized, mechanized ways and goods, indicts upper class Tehranis, and calls for social justice for lower class Tehranis. In this poem, Farrokhzad presents a dream of an egalitarian Iranian society. The poem reads:

forugh farrokhzad image
I’ve had a dream that someone is coming.
I’ve dreamt of a red star,
and my eyes lids keep twitching
and my shoes keep snapping to attention
and may I go blind
if I’m lying.
I’ve dreamt of that red star
when I wasn’t asleep.
Someone is coming,
someone is coming
someone better,

someone who is like no one,
not like Father,
not like Ensi,
not like Yahya
not like Mother,
and is like the person who he ought to be.
and his height is greater than the trees
around the overseer’s house,
and his face is brighter
than the face of the mahdi,
and he’s not even afraid
Of Sayyed Javad’s brother
who has gone
and put on a policeman’s uniform.
and he’s not even afraid of Sayyed Javad himself
who owns all the rooms of our house.
and his name just like Mother
says it at the beginning
and at the end of prayers
is either ‘judge of judges’
or ‘need of needs’.
And with his eyes closed
he can recite
all the hard words
in the third grade book,
and he can even take away a thousand
from twenty million without coming up short.
and he can buy on credit
however much he needs
from Sayyed Javad’s store.
And he can do something
so that the neon Allah sign
which was as green as dawn
will shine again
in the sky above the Meftahiyan Mosque.

how good bright light is,
how good bright light is,
and I want so much
for Yahya
to have a cart
and a small lantern,
and I want so much
to sit on Yahya’s cart
in the middle of the melons
and ride around Mohammadiyeh Square.

how great it is to ride around the square,
how great it is to sleep on the roof,
how great going to Melli Park is,
how good going to test of Pepsi is
how wonderful Fardin’s movies are,
and how I like all good things.
and I want so much
to pull Sayyed Javad’s daughter’s hair.

why am I so small
that I can get lost on the streets?
why doesn’t my father
who isn’t this small
and who doesn’t get lost on the streets
do something so that the person
who has appeared in my dreams
will speed up his arrival?
And the people in the slaughter-house
where even the earth in their gardens
is bloody
and even the water in their courtyard pools
is bloody
and even their shoe soles are bloody,
why don’t they do something?
how lazy the winter sunshine is.

I’ve swept the stairs to the roof
and I’ve washed the windows too.
How come Father has to the dream
Only in his sleep?
I’ve swept the stairs to the roof
and I’ve washed the windows too.

Someone is coming,
someone is coming,
someone who in his heart is with us,
in his breathing is with us,
in his voice is with us,

someone whose coming
can’t be stopped
and handcuffed and thrown in jail,
someone who’s been born
under Yahya’s old clothes,
and day by day
grows bigger and bigger,
someone from the rain,
from the sound of rain splashing,
from among the whispering petunias.
someone is coming from the sky
at Tupkhaneh Square
on the night of the fireworks
to spread out the table cloth
and divide up the bread
and pass out the Pepsi
and divide up Melli Park
and pass out the whooping cough syrup
and pass out the slips on registration day
and give everybody hospital
waiting room numbers
and distribute the rubber boots
and pass out Fardin movie tickets
and give away Sayyed Javad’s
daughter’s dresses
and give away whatever doesn’t sell
and even give us our share.
I’ve had a dream.

I Will Greet the Sun Again

I will greet the sun again,
greet the stream that once flowed in me,
the clouds that were my unfurling thoughts,
the aching growth of the grove’s poplars
who passed with me through seasons of draught.
I will greet the flock of crows
who gifted me the groves’ night perfume
and my mother who lived in the mirror
and was my old age’s reflection.
Once more I will greet the earth
who, in her lust to re-create me, swells
her flaming belly with green seeds.

I will come. I will come. I will.
My hair trailing deep-soil scents.
My eyes intimating the dark’s density.
I will come with a bouquet picked
from shrubs on the other side of the wall.
I will come, I will come. I will.
The doorway will glow with love
and I will once again greet those in love, greet
the girl standing in the threshold’s blaze.

The Wind-Up Doll
iranian poet image
More than this, yes
more than this one can stay silent.

With a fixed gaze
like that of the dead
one can stare for long hours
at the smoke rising from a cigarette
at the shape of a cup
at a faded flower on the rug
at a fading slogan on the wall.

One can draw back the drapes
with wrinkled fingers and watch
rain falling heavy in the alley
a child standing in a doorway
holding colorful kites
a rickety cart leaving the deserted square
in a noisy rush

One can stand motionless
by the drapes—blind, deaf.

One can cry out
with a voice quite false, quite remote
“I love…”
in a man’s domineering arms
one can be a healthy, beautiful female

With a body like a leather tablecloth
with two large and hard breasts,
in bed with a drunk, a madman, a tramp
one can stain the innocence of love.

One can degrade with guile
all the deep mysteries
one can keep on figuring out crossword puzzles
happily discover the inane answers
inane answers, yes—of five or six letters.

With bent head, one can
kneel a lifetime before the cold gilded grill of a tomb
one can find God in a nameless grave
one can trade one’s faith for a worthless coin
one can mold in the corner of a mosque
like an ancient reciter of pilgrim’s prayers.
one can be constant, like zero
whether adding, subtracting, or multiplying.
one can think of your –even your—eyes
in their cocoo of anger
as lusterless holes in a time-worn shoe.
one can dry up in one’s basin, like water.

With shame one can hide the beauty of a moment’s togetherness
at the bottom of a chest
like an old, funny looking snapshot,
in a day’s empty frame one can display
the picture of an execution, a crucifixion, or a martyrdom,
One can cover the crake in the wall with a mask
one can cope with images more hollow than these.

One can be like a wind-up doll
and look at the world with eyes of glass,
one can lie for years in lace and tinsel
a body stuffed with straw
inside a felt-lined box,
at every lustful touch
for no reason at all
one can give out a cry
“Ah, so happy am I!”’

Conquest Of The Garden
iranian poet graphic
That crow which flew over our heads
and descended into the disturbed thought
of a vagabond cloud
and the sound of which traversed
he breadth of the horizon
like a short spear
will carry the news of us to the city.

Everyone knows,
everyone knows
that you and I have seen the garden
from that cold sullen window<
and that we have plucked the apple
from that playful, hard-to-reach branch.

Everyone is afraid
everyone is afraid, but you and I
joined with the lamp
and water and mirror and we were not afraid.

I am not talking about the flimsy linking
of two names
and embracing in the old pages of a ledger.

I’m talking about my fortunate tresses
with the burnt anemone of your kiss
and the intimacy of our bodies,
and the glow of our nakedness
like fish scales in the water.
I am talking about the silvery life of a song
which a small fountain sings at dawn.
we asked wild rabbits one night
in that green flowing forest
and shells full of pearls
in that turbulent cold blooded sea
and the young eagles
on that strange overwhelming mountain
what should be done.

Everyone knows,
everyone knows
we have found our way
Into the cold, quiet dream of phoenixes:
we found truth in the garden
In the embarrassed look of a nameless flower,
and we found permanence
In an endless moment
when two suns stared at each other.

I am not talking about timorous whispering
In the dark.
I am talking about daytime and open windows
and fresh air and a stove in which useless things burn
and land which is fertile
with a different planting
and birth and evolution and pride.
I am talking about our loving hands
which have built across nights a bridge
of the message of perfume
and light and breeze.
come to the meadow
to the grand meadow
and call me, from behind the breaths
of silk-tasseled acacias
just like the deer calls its mate.

The curtains are full of hidden anger
and innocent doves
look to the ground
from their towering white height.

Love Song
iranian poet graphic
My nights are painted bright with your dream, sweet love
and heavy with your fragrance is my breast.
you fill my eyes with your presence, sweet love.
giving me more happiness than grief.
like rain washing through the soil
you have washed my life clean.
you are the heartbeat of my burning body;
a fire blazing in the shade of my eyelashes.
you are more bountiful than the wheat fields,
more fruit-laden than the golden boughs.
against the onslaught of darkening doubts
you are a door thrown open to the suns.
when I am with you, I fear no pain
for my only pain is a pain of happiness.
this sad heart of mine and so much light?
sounds of life from the bottom of a grave?

Your eyes are my pastures, sweet love
the stamp of your gaze burning deep into my eyes.
if I had you within me before, sweet love
I would not take anybody else for you.
oh it’s a dark pain, this urge of wanting;
setting out, belittling oneself fruitlessly;
laying one’s head on chests hiding a black heart;
soiling one’s breast with ancient hatred;
finding a snake in a caressing hand;
discovering venom behind friendly smiles;
putting coins into deceitful hands;
getting lost in the midst of bazaars.

You are my breath of life, sweet love,
you have brought me back to life from the grave.
you have come down from the distant sky,
like a star on two golden wings
silencing my loneliness, sweet love,
Imbuing my body with odors of your embrace.
you are water to the dry streams of my breasts,
you are a torrent to the dry bed of my veins.
in a world so cold and as bleak,
in step with your steps, I proceed.

You are hidden under my skin
flowing through my every cell,
singeing my hair with your caressing hand,
leaving my cheeks sunburned with desire.
you are, sweet love, a stranger to my dress
but so familiar with the fields of my nakedness.
o bright and eternal sunrise,
the strong sunshine of southern climes,
you are fresher than early dawn,
fresher and better-watered than spring-tide.
this is no longer love, it is dazzlement,
a chandelier blazing amidst silence and darkness.
ever since love was awakened in my heart,
I have become total devotion with desire.
this is no longer me, no longer me,
oh wasted are the years I lived with “me.”
my lips are the altar of your kisses, sweet love
my eyes watching out for the arrival of your kiss.

You are the convulsions of ecstasy in my body,
like a garment, the lines of your figure covering me.
oh I am going to burst open like a bud,
my joy becoming tarnished for a moment with sorrow.
oh I wish to jump to my feet
and pour down tears like a cloud

This sad heart of mine and burning incense?
music of harp and lyre in a prayer-hall?
this empty space and such flights?
this silent night and so much song?
your gaze is like a magic lullaby, sweet love,
a cradle for restless babies.
your breathing is a breeze half-asleep
washing down all my tremors of anguish;
it is hidden in the smiles of my tomorrows,
it has sunken deep into the depths of my worlds.

You have touched me with the frenzy of poetry;
pouring fire into my songs,
kindling my heart with the fever of love,
thus setting all my poems ablaze, sweet love.

It Is Only Sound That Remains
daniel shams graphic
Why should I stop, why?
the birds have gone in search
of the blue direction.
the horizon is vertical, vertical
and movement fountain-like;
and at the limits of vision
shining planets spin.
the earth in elevation reaches repetition,
and air wells
changes into tunnels of connection;
and day is a vastness,
which does not fit into narrow mind
of newspaper worms.

why should I stop?
the road passes through the capillaries of life,
the quality of the environment
in the ship of the uterus of the moon
will kill the corrupt cells.
and in the chemical space after sunrise
there is only sound,
sound that will attract the particles of time.
why should I stop?

what can a swamp be?
what can a swamp be but the spawning ground
of corrupt insects?
swollen corpses scrawl the morgue’s thoughts,
the unmanly one has hidden
his lack of manliness in blackness,
and the bug… ah,
when the bug talks,
why should I stop?
cooperation of lead letters is futile,
it will not save the lowly thought.
I am a descendant of the house of trees.
breathing stale air depresses me.
a bird which died advised me to
commit flight to memory.
the ultimate extent of powers is union,
joining with the bright principle of the sun
and pouring into the understanding of light.
it is natural for windmills to fall apart.

why should I stop?
I clasp to my breast
the unripe bunches of wheat
and breastfeed them

sound, sound, only sound,
the sound of the limpid wishes
of water to flow,
the sound of the falling of star light
on the wall of earth’s femininity
the sound of the binding of meaning’s sperm
and the expansion of the shared mind of love.
sound, sound, sound,
only sound remains.

in the land of dwarfs,
the criteria of comparison
have always traveled in the orbit of zero.
why should I stop?
I obey the four elements;
and the job of drawing up
the constitution of my heart
is not the business
of the local government of the blind.

what is the lengthy whimpering wildness
in animals sexual organs to me?
what to me is the worm’s humble movement
In its fleshy vacuum?
the bleeding ancestry of flowers
has committed me to life.
are you familiar with the bleeding
ancestry of the flowers?

Age Seven

Ay, age seven
Ay, the magnanimous moment of departure
Whatever happened after you,
happened in a mesh of insanity and ignorance.

After you,
the window which was a lively and bright connection
between the bird and us
between the breeze and us
after you,
that earthly doll which did not utter a thing,
nothing but water
in water.

After you,
we killed the cricket’s voice
we became lured
by the bell ring rising off of the letters of the alphabet
and the whistling of the arms factory.

After you, where our playground was beneath the desk
we graduated from beneath the desks
to behind the desks
and from behind the desks
to top of the desks
and we played on top of the desks
and lost
we lost your color
Aah, age seven.

After you,
we betrayed each other
after you,
we cleansed your memories
by lead particles and splattered blood-drops
off of the plastered temples of alley walls.

after you
we went to the squares
and shouted:
“long live…
and down with….”

and in the clamor of the square
we applauded the little singing coins
which had insidiously come to visit our town.

After you,
us: each other’s murderers,
judged love
and while our hearts were anxious in our pockets,
we judged love’s share.

After you
we resorted to cemeteries and death was breathing under the grandmother’s veil
and death
was that corpulent tree
which the living of this side of the “origin”
would tie their desire-thread to its weary branches
and the dead of the other side of the “end”
would paw at its phosphorous roots
and death
was sitting on that sacred mausoleum which had four blue tulips
abruptly lighting up at its four corners.

the sound of the wind is coming
the sound of the wind is coming
Aah, age seven.

I rose up and drank water
and suddenly recollected how the plantations of your youth
became agitated by the swarm of crickets.

how much must one pay?
how much for the growth of this cemented cubicle?

We lost everything we must have lost
we started treading without a lantern
and moon
the kind Feminine
was always there
in the childhood memories of a clay and straw rooftop
and above the young plantations
dreading the swamp of crickets.

How much must one pay?……

The Sin
daniel shams graphic
I sinned, a sin all filled with pleasure
wrapped in an embraced, warm and fiery
I sinned in a pair of arms
that were vibrant, virile, violent.

In that dim and quiet place of seclusion
I looked into his eyes brimming with mystery
my heart throbbed in my chest all too excited
by the desire glowing in his eyes.

In that dim and quiet place of seclusion
as I sat next to him all scattered inside
his lips poured lust on my lips
and I left behind the sorrows of my heart.

I whispered in his ear these words of love:
“I want you, mate of my soul
I want you, life-giving embrace
I want you, lover gone mad”

Desire surged in his eyes
red wine swirled in the cup
my body surfed all over his
in the softness of the downy bed.

I sinned, a sin all filled with pleasure
next to a body now limp and languid
I know not what I did, God
in that dim and quiet place of seclusion.

Later On

My death will come someday to me
One day in spring, bright and lovely
One winter day, dusty, distant
One empty autumn day, devoid of joy.

My death will come someday to me
One bittersweet day, like all my days
One hollow day like the one past
Shadow of today or of tomorrow.

My eyes tune to half dark hallways
My cheeks resemble cold, pale marble
Suddenly sleep creeps over me
I become empty of all painful cries.

Slowly my hands slide o’er my notes
Delivered from poetry’s spell,
I recall that once in my hands
I held the flaming blood of poetry.

The earth invites me into its arms,
Folks gather to entomb me there
Perhaps at midnight my lovers
Place above me wreaths of many roses.

forugh farrokhzad graphic
The night is painted by your dream
Your perfume fills my lungs to extreme

You are a feast for my eyes!
All shapes of woe you belie

As the body of earth is washed by rain
From my soul you cleanse all stain!

In my burning body you are a turning gyre
In the shade of my eyelashes you are a blazing fire.

You are more verdant than a wheat field!
More fruit than golden boughs you yield!

To the suns you open the gate
To counteract dark doubt’s spate

With you there is nothing to fear
But the pain of joyful tear

This sad heart of mine and profuse light?
This din of life in the abyss of blight?

The glance in your eyes is my field
And with it my eyes are sealed

Before this I had no other image
Or I would not but you envisage

The pain of love is a dark pain
Going and demeaning oneself in vain

Learning against people with black sight
Defiling oneself with the filth of spite

Finding in caresses venom of wile
Finding villainy in friend’s smile

Handing gold coins to the marauding band
Getting lost in the midst of the bazaar land

With my soul united you will be
From grave you will raise me

Like a star on wings decked with gold
You come from a land untold.

You alleviate sorrow’s pang
Flooding my body with embrace’s tang

You are a stream flowing onto my dry breast
My bed of my veins with your water is blest

Within a world which on darkness does feed
With every step you take I proceed

Underneath my skin you go!
There like blood you flow

Burning my tresses with a fondling hand
Flushing my checks with an urging demand

You are a stranger to my gown
An acquaintance with my body’s lawn

You are a shining sun that never dies
A sun that rises in Southern skies

You are fresher than first light
Fresher than spring, a luster sight

This is no longer love: this is pride
A chandelier that in silence and darkness died

When love did my heart entice
I was filled with a sense of sacrifice

This is no longer me, this is no longer me
My life with my ego amounted to a null degree

My lips your kisses prize
Your lips are the temple of my eyes

In me your stir a great rhapsody
Your curves are an attire on my body

O how I crave to sprout
And my joy with sorrow shout

O how I wish to rise
And my eyes with tears baptize

This forlorn heart of mine and incense perfume?
The music of harp and lyre in a prayer room?

This void and these flights?
These songs and these silent nights?

Your glance is a wondrous lullaby
Cradling restless babes thereby

Your breath is a transcendental breeze
Washing off me tremors of unease

Finding in my morrows a place to sleep
Permeating my world deep and deep

In me the passion for poetry you inspire
Over my lays you cast instant fire

You kindled my passionate desire
Thus setting my poems afire.

The Wall

With the cold moments of the past fleeting by,
Your wild eyes contained in your silent demeanor
build a wall around me
And I flee from you to a pathless path.

Until I see valleys on the moons dirt
Until I wash my body in the water fountains of light
In a colorful fog of a warm summer morning
I’ll fill my skirt with lilies from the fields
And hear the roar of roosters from the village rooftops

I’m fleeing from you to the very skirts of the valley
Where I’ll press my feet to the ground
Until they sip dewdrops of grass
I’m fleeing from you to a deserted beach
Where on the lost boulders beneath dark clouds
I’ll learn the twisting dance of the ocean’s hurricane

In a far off sunset, like wild doves
I’ll see fields, mountains, and the sky beneath my feet.
And in the midst of dry bushes I’ll hear
the blissful music of field birds.

I’m fleeing from you until I open the path
To the city of desires
And in that city…
The castle of dreams will have a heavy golden lock

But your eyes with their silent scream
Will blur my vision
Like your dark secrets that
Build a wall around me.

At last one day…
I’ll flee from the illusion of conceiving doubt
And I’ll radiate like a perfume from
the colorful flower of dreams
And I’ll diffuse into the wavy hair of night’s zephyr
And travel to the very beaches of the Sun
In a silent world, within an eternity of calmness.

I’ll gently rock on a bed of golden-colored clouds
That extends hand like rays toward the serene sky
As if playing a song.

It is there where I am happy and free
And I weave memories of this world
Because your bewitching eyes
Find my eyes
And blur my vision
Like your dark secrets
That build a wall around me.

I Feel Sorry for the Garden ( Delam barayeh Baghcheh Misuzad )

No one is thinking about the flowers,
no one is thinking about the fish,
no one wants
to believe that the garden is dying,
that the garden’s heart has swollen
under the sun,
that the garden’s mind is slowly
being drained of green memories,
that the garden’s senses are
a separate thing rotting huddled in a corner.

our old courtyard is lonely.
our garden yawns
in anticipation of an unknown rain cloud,
and our pool is empty.

inexperienced little stars
fall to the earth from treetop heights.
and from the pale windows of the fishes’ abode
the sound of coughing comes at night.
our courtyard garden is lonely.

Fathers says:
it’s too late for me.
it’s over for me.
I shouldered my burden
and did my share.
and in this room, from dawn to disk,
he reads either the Shahnameh
or The History Of Histories.
Father says to Mother:
to hell with all birds and fish.
when I die, then
what difference will it make
that there is a garden
or there isn’t a garden?
my retirement pension is enough for me.

Mother’s whole life
is a prayer rug spread
at the threshold of fears of hell.
at the bottom of everything Mother
always searches for traces of sin
and thinks that a plant’s apostasy
has contaminated the garden.
Mother prays all day long.
Mother is a natural sinner
and she breathes on all the flowers
and on all the fish, and
exorcises herself.
Mother is waiting for a coming
and a forgiveness to descend upon the earth.

My brother calls the garden a graveyard.
My brother laughs at the profusion of weeds
and keeps a count
of the fish corpses
that decompose
beneath the water’s sick skin.
My brother is addicted to philosophy.
My brother thinks the cure for the garden
lies in its destruction.
he gets drunk
and bangs on doors and walls
and tries to say
that he is very wart, despondent and despairing.
he carries his despair
along with his identity cars, pocket calendar,
lighter and ballpoint pen

to the street and the bazaar.
and his despair is so small
that every night
It gets lost in the crowd at the bar.

and my sister who was the flowers’ friend
and took her heart’s simple words
to their kind and silent company
when Mother spanked her
and occasionally offered sun and cookies
to the family of fishÉ
her house is on the other side of the city.
in her artificial home,
with her artificial goldfish,
and in the security of her artificial husband’s love,
and under the branches of her artificial apple tree,
she sings artificial songs
and produces very real babies.
whenever she comes to visit us
and the hem of her skirt gets soiled
with the garden’s poverty,
she takes a perfume bath.
Every time she comes to visit us,
is pregnant.

Our garden is lonely,
our garden is lonely.
all day long
from behind the door comes the sound
of shattering and explosions.
all our neighbors plant
bombs and machineguns in their gardens
instead of flowers.
all our neighbors
cover their tiled ponds,
become unwitting
secret storehouses of gunpowder.
and the children along our street
have filled their schoolbags
with small bombs.
our garden is confused.

I fear an age
that has lost its heart.
I am scared of the thought
of so many useless hands
and of picturing so many estranged faces.
like a school child
madly in love with her geometry lesson,
I am alone.
and I think that the garden
can be taken to a hospital.
I think…
I think…
I think…
and the garden’s heart has swollen
under the sun,
and the garden mind is slowly
being emptied of green memories.

Let Us Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Season

And here I am
a woman alone
at the threshold of a cold season
at the the dawn of realizing earth’s sullied existance
and the sky’s blue despair
and the impotence of these hands made of cement.

Time passed,
time passed and the clock stuck four times,
struck four times.
today is the winter solstice.
I know the secret of seasons,
know the language of moments.
The Messiah sleeps in a grave
and the earth–the hospitable earth–
beckons one to serenity.

Time passed and the clock struck four times.

The wind blows in the alley.
The wind blows in the alley,
and I think of the flowers’ mating,
their slender, anemic blossoms
and this tired tubercular age.
A man passes by the wet trees,
a man whose strings of blue veins
are dead snakes wrapped about
his throat, pounding his angry temples
with those bloodied syllables;
And I think of the flowers’ mating.

On the threshold of a cold season
and in the mimrrors’ grieving vigil,
in faint memories’ mournful wake,
and in this dusk pregnant with wise silence,
how can one cry Stop! to one who moves
so patiently,
How can one say to this man that he is not alive,
that he has never been.

The wind blows in the alley,
and seclusion’s lonely crows
tour the old groves of boredom,
How lowly the ladder’s height.

They carried off a simple heart
to their fairytale palaces,
and now
how can one rise to dance, release
one’s childhood hair into flowing streams,
and crush underfoot the apple she has at last picked,
at last breathed in its perfume?

Beloved, my truest friend,
such black clouds await the sun’s festival
It was as if the bird flew along an imaginary line,
as if the young leaves that sensuously breathed in the breeze
lived in the lines of a green delusion,
as if the purple flame that burned in the window’s chaste mind
were nothing but the innocent fantasy of a lamp.

The wind blows in the alley
and it is the dawn of destruction.
The wind also blew the day your hands fell to ruin.
Dear stars,
dear paper stars,
how can one take refuge in the verses of defeated prophets
when lies blow through the air like wind?
We will meet like those dead for a thousand and thousand years,
and then the sun shall judge the state of our bodies’ decay.

I am cold.
I am cold and I think I will never feel warm again.
Beloved, my truest friend, How aged was that wine?
Look, how heavy time stands here
and how the fish nibble on my flesh.
Why do you always keep me at the bottom of the sea?
I am cold and despise shell earrings,
I am cold and I know nothing will remain
of the red delusions of a wild poppy
but a few drops of blood.

I will let go of lines,
of counting numbers too,
and from among the limits of geometry,
seek refuge in the soul of infinity.
I am naked,
naked, naked, Naked
as the hush between words of love.
My wounds are all exacted by love,
love, love, love.

I guided this wandering isle away
from the ocean’s tempest, away
from the volcanoes’ eruption.
To shatter was the secret of that unbroken body
from whose humblest pieces the sun was born.

Salaam innocent night.

Salaam to you, this night, who transforms the wolves’ eyes
into bony sockets of trust and faith.
Beside your streams, the willows’ souls
are sniffing the axes’ kind souls.
I come from a world of apathetic thoughts, voices, and words.
A world like a snakes’ lair,
a world of footsteps,
of people who embrace you, all the while
weaving in their thoughts ropes to hang you by.

Salaam chaste night.

There is always a gap
between seeing and the window.
Why did I not look?
That time a man passed by wet trees…
Why did I not look?
I think my mother wept that night,
the night I felt the pain and a being formed in my womb,
the night I became an acacia bride, the night
Isfahan’s blue tiles echoed and the one who was half of me
returned to my womb.
I saw his reflection, pure and bright as the mirror
and suddenly he called to me, and I became an acacia bride…

I think my mother wept that night.
How useless the light that fell on this closed door.
Why did I not look?
All the moments of happiness knew
your hands would come to ruin,
and still I did not look.
Not until the clock’s door flew open
and the sad canary sang four times,
four times,
and I met the small woman
with eyes like the phoenix’s empty nests.
With each hurried step it was as if
she carried the virginity of my lavish dreams
to the dark bed of night.

Will I ever again comb my hair with the wind?
Will I ever again plant purple pansies in the garden,
or set geraniums in the sky behind the windowpane?
Will I ever again dance in the faces of wine glasses?
Will I ever again wait anticipating the door bell’s chime?

I told my mother: This is the end.
Before you know it, it shall happen;
let’s send my obituary to the papers.

Hollow human.
Hollow, trusting human.
Look at his teeth singing as they chew,
and his eyes devouring as they stare,
and how he passes the wet trees;
at the hour four,
at the very moment his blue veins,
wrapped about his throat like dead snakes,
pound his angry temples
with those bloodied syllables;

Have you
ever smelled
those four water lilies?…

Time passed.
Time passed and night fell
on the acacia’s naked limbs,
glided on the windowpanes,
and with its cold tongue licked away
the remainder of the day.

Where have I been?
Where have I been that my body so smells of the night?
The grave is still soft–
I speak of the grave of two green, young hands…

How kind you were, beloved, my truest friend,
how kind when you lied,
how kind when you closed the mirrors’ eyelids,
loosened the bulbs that hung from their wire branches,
and led me throug the dark to love’s pastures,
until that dizzying stream which follows thirst’s fire
settled on the fields of sleep.

And the paper stars cicling eternity,
why did they voice their words?
Why did they take seeing to the house of visitation?
Why did they take caressing to the modesty of a virgin’s hair?
Look how the one who spoke with words,
caressed with eyes, and was tamed by touch
was nailed to the cross of apprehensions;
how the branches of your fingers
like five letters otf truth
left a mark on her cheek.

What is silence, what is it, my trusted friend?
What is silence but unspoken words?
I am bereft of words, but the sparrows language
is nature’s unyielding euphoric flow.
The sparrows’ language means: spring, leaves, spring.
The sparrows’ language means: breeze, fragrance, breeze.
The sparrows’ language dies at the factory.

Who is this, she walking eternity’s road
towards the moment of fusion? She who winds her watch
with childhood’s logic of subtractions and additions?
She for whom the day does not begin
with roosters’s crow but with breakfast’s aroma?
She who wears love’s crown
and has withered in the folds of her wedding gown?

And so in the end
the sun did not shine at once on both poles of despair.
You drained of the blue tiles’ echoes.

I am so brimming full that people pray over my voice…

Lucky corpses.
Tired corpses.
Silent pensive corpses.
Social, chic, well-fed stiffs
in the stations of regularity
and beneath suspiciously temporary lights,
who lustily buy futility’s rotten fruits…

How they stand at intersections, worred about accidents
and whisltes commanding Stop!
at the very moment when a man
must, must, must
be crushed beneath the wheels of time,
a man who passes by wet trees…

where have I been?

I told my mother: This is the end.
Before you know it, it shall happen;
let’s send my obituary to the papers.

Salaam strange loneliness.
I concede this room to you because
black clouds always are prophets
of new purifying verses,
and in a cancle’s martyrdom lies a resplendent secret
that its last and tallest flame grasps.

Let us believe,
let us believe in the dawn of the cold season.
Let us believe in the ruin of imaginary gardens,
in idle inverted scythes,
in confined seeds.
Look how it snows…

Perhaps the truth was those two young hands,
those young hands
buried beneath snow–
and in the coming year
when spring mates with sky behind the window,
fountains of green saplings will erupt–
saplings that bloom, beloved, my truest friend.

Let us believe in the dawn of the cold season…

daniel shams graphic

“I feel I have wasted my life…and know far too little for woman of twenty-seven years…I feel a dizzying pressure under my skin…I want to make a hole in everything and penetrate it deep. I want to reach the heart of the earth. My love lies in there, a place where seedlings turn green and roots meet one another and creation continues even in disintegration. I think it has always been this way–in birth and then in death. I think my body is a temporary form. I want to reach its essence. I want to hang my heart like ripe fruit on every branch of every tree.”

poetry graphic

“Of course we compose poetry out of personal need, an irresistible calling…but what happens after we commit our poems to the page? We must be judged and feel that we have made a difference, made a connection, and that we are responsible. But how can one look fondly at, or even expect an answer from a society that is shapeless, without an ideal, refusing any sort of responsibility, its only movement being from a season of mating to a season of grazing? In this field, an artist’s work is private and individualistic. How long can he or she survive this isolation, conversing only with the door and the four walls? This is a question, the answer to which lies in the capacity and forbearance of each individual artist. Those who grow silent or have nothing more to say, had better keep thier peace, otherwise their ability to cope with this frightful sewage becomes impossible, and they find themselves abandoned and useless. The only way to survive is that one shoud reach such a state of detachment and maturity that he or she can become both a builder of and a mouthpiece for her world, both an observer and a judge.”

persian poetry image

persian poetry image

persian poetry image

On Loving (excerpt)
Yes, so love begins,
and though the road’s end is out of sight

I do not think of the end

for it is the loving I so love.

[In this poem] I wanted to speak of a kind of love that no longer seems to exist…Today people measure love with the tick tick of their watchs. They register it in books so that it is respectable. They subject it to laws. They put a price on it and limit it with “faithfulness” or “deceit.”

persian poetry image

“I believe in being a poet in all moments of life. Being a poet means being human. I know some poets whose daily behavior has nothing to do with their poetry. In other words, they are only poets when they wrote poetry. Then it is finished and they turn into greedy, indulgent, oppressive, shortsighted, miserable, and envious people. Well, I cannot believe their poems. I value the realities of life and when I find these gentlemen making fists and claims-that is, in their poems and essays-I get disgusted, and I doubt their honesty. I say to myself: Perhaps it is only for a plate of basmaati that they are screaming…”

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la nuit lumineuse image

la nuit lumineuse graphic

daniel shams image

daniel shams graphic

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heliotricity graphic

flamenco michigan image

flamenco detroit image

flamenco detroit graphic

parviz shapour image

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Heliotricity Reviews

“Forgive me Forugh, for with my soul small, and my heart hard unwittingly I merit the very shame which I misguidedly cast upon others…my anger and ignorance only increases the already too great divide between human beings. As long as I stoke the inferno of intolerance with foolish assumptions and childlike profanities nothing I ever do will encourage the evolution of the human spirit nor the greatness of any country, least of all mine…”
Farid Karimi