Simin Behbahani
Iranian Poet

(Photo: Masoud)

Research: Iran

Simin Behbehani

Literature: Poems of Iranian Poet, Simin Behbehani
Love Arrived and How Red, Translated to English by M. Alexandrian
Love arrived and how red?
Although it is too late;
The rose has grown in the snow,
O how delightful it does glow!

Love, O love! O love! O love!
How far you sit on the peak above!
My legs, O how they tremble! Behold
My hands, O how wrinkled and old!

I am afraid, I fear, O mate!
For by the breeze I vibrate;
Love, the phantom of doubt, bound
Is sleeping in the pound.
The young cactus is grown
In a tropical zone;
But I come from polar plain,
May heart is cold, barren;
The cocoon is thicker than the content,
As if my heart has swollen and spent.
She yearns to fly, she does desire
That which is jailed in the mire;
But her wings have stalled and rotten,
It is too late, too late to batten.
That which flew with passion,
Her mind full of conviction
Poor of credulity and belief,
Is bound to remain in unbelief.
She who romped and pranced in the dell,
Was swift like the quick gazelle; 
Now tamed, silent and quiet,
Like the lamb she bows her head.
Her proud crown and her fan
Was the ring of the rainbow!
She is crestfallen and crumbled;
She is ashamed and humbled.

Love, O red torch of delight!
Send your last brilliant light;
Perhaps my gray despair, distraught
Reflects my gloomy thought.
The Story of the Narcissus
The narcissus that drove a silvery boat on the stream
Was welcome in a thousand pure silvery rings;
The star had set the dew over the meadow
In crystal springs it twisted flowed, in springs.
It was me and you and the green shade,
And our bloods bade by youth swiftly flowed.
On a breast that beamed fresh and white like the brook
Like breeze your caressing hand was afloat;
The warm kisses that sat gently on the face,
Weren't of liquid, they were pure wine indeed;
Each kiss was a letter of secret desire,
Each letter a volume that answered the need.
The green leafy trees churned by the wind
And silver and gold from sun fell on the ground;
Moments escaped hurried like the flying light,
How in my mind the flying time I could count?
Did you see how love fled like the comet -

A love that in glory laughed at the sun,
You saw that flying it was a comet in whim
As if our union was but a fancy
Our past awareness looked like a dream.

It spoke of the loose foundation of our love,
The narcissus that rode a silvery boat on the stream.
Your Song
Your voice, alas, is not from your throat, it isn't yours,
Even if issuing from your throat, it isn't yours.
All this noise that they trumpeted, all this uproar,
Is nothing but the echo of your forced commotion;.
It is a voice that can be bartered with a trifle, 
For one can't value it beyond that, it is my notion.
When it was time to shout, you didn't shout,
Now all this uproar today is just a babble.
Silence! for the good lives lost by our companions
Is not a subject for your present gabble;
Thanks God that truth is so bitter that never
It can dwell in your bill honeyed by sweetmeat.
You know the gold that you possess
But fear not the iron that binds your feet.
Ask him who sleeps in the thorn with wounds
For there you can't find silk bed or pillow.
O boasters who forge lampoon and farce 
None would believe your bragging but laughter, I know.
My trust has burnt away, no cause for wonder,
That I'm not deceived by your false boasting.
I am a rock and your words like rusty nails,
My grieved heart is right not to believe your jesting.
Tik...tak, tik...tak
Tik...tak and tik...tak, O how the moment flies?
Compelled, humble and obedient it flies.
- Stay, stay my life! give a respite... O God!
Without farewell, wordless and even a look it flies.
Drop by drop like the spring, it drops by moments,
Month turns to year, year turns to month and flies.
At the golden twilight the sun rises,
With the last bloody setting, sinks in well and flies.
When I lay the silvery sleep over my dream,
A black sleep arrives, a white dream flies;
My life like the curtain from alternate white and black
Has become stripped and still stripped it flies.
She who goes is me, I won't return,
Ah me, tell time that untimely it flies!
My pulse is tired, tired from counting ,
The moments of my life, ah... ah time flies!


Research: Iranian Contemporary Poems


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