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Research: Iran

Forouq Farokh-zad

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Literature: Poems of Iranian Poet, Forouq Farokh-zad
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One could 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 strew
inside a felt-lined box
at very lustful touch

For no reason at all
one can give you a cry
"Ah, so happy am I!"
Each bird is to die, Translated to English by Fanous Bahadr-vand
I feel heart sore
I feel heart sore
I go to divan and touch
The night's stretched skin
with my fingers

The lights of relation are dark
The lights of relation are dark

Nobody will introduce
me to the sun

Nobody will take me 
to the sparrow's feast

Remember the flight
Each bird is to die.
To Love, Translated to English by M. Alexandrian
Tonight from the sky of your eyes
Stars are pouring on my poem;
In the winter and the heap of paper,
My fist plants the seeds of flame.

My crazy and feverish poem,
Shy of the indentures of desire,
Is again burning its frame
From the eternal thirst of fire.

Yes, it is the beginning of loving
Though the end of the path is unknown;
But I do not think of the end,
It is loving that charms, I must own.

Why fear the turbid darkness?
The night is full of diamonds that shine;
That which remains from the night 
Is the perfume of soporific jasmine.

O let me loose myself in you
So that none can find my address;
A burning soul and a moist sigh
Shall blow on my poetry's surface.

Know you what I seek from my life?
To dissolve in you from tip to the toe, 
Even if I live a thousand lives,
Its you I'll seek again,... it is you.

That which is hidden in me is a sea;
How can I hide it in my breast? 
I wish I had the power 
To speak of this horrible tempest.

Yes, this is the beginning of loving,
Though the end of the path is unknown;
Yet I do not think of the end,
It is loving that charms, I must own.
After You, Translated to English by M. Alexandrian
O seven years age,
O moment of wondrous departure,
Whatever happened after you, happened in a heap of madness and ignorance.

After you the window which was a very lively and bright link
Between us and the bird,
Between us and the breeze,
Broke,
Broke,
Broke.

After you that earthly puppet 
Which uttered nothing - nothing but water, water, water,
Was drowned in the water.

After you we killed the sound of the crickets 
And made us content with the sound of the bell rising from the alphabet
And the sound of sirens of weapon manufacturing mills.

After you our playground was under the table,
We moved from under the tables
Over the tables
And reached over tables,
And we lost, we lost your hue, o seven years age.

After you we betrayed each other,
After you we erased all our recollections
By chunks of lead and by exploded drops of blood
From the plastered temples of walls in the street.

After you we walked to the town squares
And cried:
"Long live ...!"
"Down with ...!"

And in the commotion of the town square we clapped 
for the small coins of the singer who had cleverly crept into the town for a visit.

After you we who had become murderers of each other
Judged love
While our false hearts 
Throbbed for our pockets.

After you we went to the graveyards
And death was breathing under grandmother's chador;
And death was that sturdy tree
Upon whose branches the living folk this side of beginning
Were making knots of vow on its melancholy branches,
And the dead on the other side of the end
Clung at its phosphorus roots, 
And death was seated on the sacred shrine 
On whose four corners suddenly four blue tulips
were lighted.

I hear the sound of the wind,
I hear the sound of the wind, o seven years age.
I stood and drank water
And suddenly I remembered 
How your young farms dreaded the invasion of locusts.
How much must one pay? 
How much one must pay for this concrete square block? 

Whatever 
We had to loose, we have lost.
We started our march without a torch,
And the moon, the kind moon, was always there,
In the childish recollections of a thatched roof
And over the young farms which dreaded the invasion of locusts.

How much must one pay?
Those Days, Translated to English by M. Alexandrian
Those days are gone,
Those good days.

Those days full of health, 
Those ornamented spangled skies,
Those branches burdened with cherries,
Those houses leaning on each other within green fences of ivies,
Those roofs and those playful kites,
Those streets giddy with the perfume of acacia.

Those days are gone,
Those days when out of my eye-lids,
Songs gushed like bubbles full of air,
And wherever my eyes gazed
It drank like fresh nectar.

As if within my eye-lids
The restless rabbit of joy lurked,
Who every morning with the ancient sun
Traveled to unknown fields
And at nights disappeared into dark jungles.

Those days are gone,
Those snowy and silent days,
When from behind the window, in a warm room,
Every moment I gazed outside.
My pure snow, like the soft silk,
Dropped softly 
On the old wooden ladder,
On the loose rope where garments were hung,
On the tresses of aged pines,
And I thought of tomorrow, ah
Tomorrow -
A slippery white mass.

It started with the rustle of my grandmother's chador
And the appearance of a trembling shadow in the door frame
- When it suddenly let itself loose in the cold sensation of light -
And the wandering outline of flying doves
In the colorful glass bowls -
Tomorrow...

The warmth of the Korsi brought sleep.
Quick and fearless,
Far from my mother's gaze I would erase
The teacher's rejected lines in my note book.
When the snow settled on ground 
Dejected I roamed in the garden
At the food of withered jasmine pots
And buried my dead sparrows.

Those days are gone;
Those days of fascination and wonder,
Those days of sleep and wakefulness,
Those days when each shadow told a secret,
Each sealed box concealed a treasure,
As if at noontime silence each corner of the closet
Looked a world by itself.
Anyone not afraid of the dark
Looked a hero in my eyes.

Those days are gone.
Those festive holidays,
Those expectations from the sun and flowers;
Those trembling perfume,
In the silent and shy company of wild narcissus
Which visited the town on the last winter morning,
And the voice of wandering peddlers in long green spangled street.

The market was filled with wandering smells,
With the pungent scent of coffee and fish;
The market would expand and stretch beneath our steps,
And mingled with all moments,
Round it would turn in the depth of dolls.
The market was mother who marched quickly 
Towards the flowing and colorful fluid forms
And return
With boxes of presents laden in baskets;
The market was rain that poured, and poured and poured.

Those days are gone.
Those days of wonder at the body's secrets;
Those days of cautious acquaintance with the beauty of blue veins;
A hand that would call
With a single flower 
Another hand from behind the wall
And the little ink spots on this trembling hand,
Anxious, full of fear 
And love
which expressed itself in a timid greeting.
On warm smoky noon,
we sung our love in the dusty street;
We were familiar with the simple tongue of dandelions;
We carried our hearts into the garden of innocent kindness
And loaned them to the trees,
And the ball rolled in our hands with the message of kiss.
It was love, that vague sensation in the darkness
of a porch,
That suddenly 
Surrounded us,
And enrapture us in burning breaths, heartbeats 
and stolen smiles.

Those days are gone,
Like plants which rotted beneath the scorching sun,
Those days rotted beneath the sun,
And the streets, giddy with the acacia's perfume, 
were lost,
in the noisy streets which did not return ;
And the girl who painted her cheeks 
With the petals of geranium, ah
Now she is a lonely woman, 
Now she is a lonely woman.
Another Birth, Translated to English by M. Alexandrian
My whole existence is a dark verse
Which repeating you in itself
Will carry you to dawn of eternal blossoming and growth,
In this verse I have sighed for you, ah,
In this verse I have grafted you
To tree and water and fire.

Perhaps life
A long street in which a lady 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 from school.

Perhaps life 
Is the lighting a cigarette 
In the languid interval of two embraces,
Or the dizzy passing of a passerby
Who lifts his hat
And says "good morning" to another passerby with a Meaningless smile.

Perhaps life is that contracted moment
When my glance destroys itself in the pupil of your eyes,
And in this there is a sensation
Which I will mix with the perception of the moon 
And the discovery of darkness.

In a room to the length of a loneliness,
My heart
The size of one love
Looks at its simple pretexts of its happiness,
At the fading of the beauty of flowers in the flowerpot,
At the sapling you planted in our garden,
At the song of canaries
That sing to the length of a window.

Ah...
This is my lot,
This is my lot.
My lot,
Is a sky which a hanging curtain steals from me,
My lot is to descend from an abandoned stair,
To be tied to something in decay and alienation;
My lot is a melancholy walk in the garden of recollections,
And the sadness of a dying voice which tells me:
"I love 
Your hands."

I plant my hands in the garden,
I will grow, I know, I know, I know,
And the swallows will lay eggs
In the hallow of my ink-stained fingers.

I will hang earrings on my ears,
Of twin red cherries
And stick dahlia petals on my nails;
There is an street where 
Still, the boys who loved me
With the same disheveled hair, slender necks and thin legs,
Think of the innocent smile of a girl
Who will be borne away one night.

There is a street which my heart
Has stolen from my childhood districts.

A voluminous journey in the line of time,
And with a form, impregnating the dry line of time,
A form aware of an image
Which returns from the party of a mirror.

And it is thus
That someone dies
And someone lives.

No fisher will hunt a pearl
In the shallow stream that flows into a ditch.

I
Know a sad little mermaid
Who dwells in the ocean
Who plays her heart in a wooden flute,
Softly, softly,
A sad little mermaid
Who dies from a kiss at night
And awakes with a kiss at dawn.
Red Rose, Translated to English by Reza Parhizgar
Red rose
Red rose
Red rose

He led me to the rose garden
And darkling tucked a red rose in my restless trembling tresses
And finally slept with me on a rose petal
Oh, paralytic pigeons!
Oh, inexperienced menopauses trees, oh blind windows
A red rose is now sprouting just below my heart and deep in my loins.
A rose
Red as a bloodstain.

Ah, I am Pregnant, pregnant, pregnant I am.
Terrestrial Verses, Translated to English by Reza Parhizgar
Then the sun grew cold
and blessing left the land.

And the grass dried up in the meadows
and the fish dried up in the seas
and the earth 
did not accept the dead any more.

In all the pale windows
the night was continuously accumulating
and overflowing
like a doubtful conception
and the roads abandoned their continuation
in the dark.

No one pondered love anymore
no one pondered victory anymore
and no one
pondered anything anymore.

In the caves of loneliness
absurdity was born
blood smelt of bhang and opium
pregnant women
gave birth to headless babes
and the cradles shamefully
took refuge in the graves.

What a dark bitter age!
bread had defeated
the wonderful power of prophesy
the apostles, dejected and starved
Fled the divine meeting places
and the lost lambs of Jesus
no longer heard the shepherd's "Hey"
in the consternation of the plains

In the eyes of the mirrors motions, colors and images
were all reflected up-side down
and over the heads of mean clowns
and the impudent faces of prostitutes
burned a sacred bright halo
like a blazing parasol.

Marshes of alcohol
with their acrid poisonous fumes
drew the inert mass of intellectuals down to their depths
and the obnoxious mice
nibbled the gilded pages of books
in the old cupboards.

The sun had died
the sun had died, and
the "Morrow" had a lost vague meaning
in the minds of the children
they depicted the peculiarity of this antiquated word
in their homework with a large black spot.

The people 
the fallen masses of people,
skeletal, discouraged and bewildered
migrated from exile to exile
under the inauspicious burden of their corpses
and a painful craving for crime
swelled in their hands.

At times a spark, a trifling spark
suddenly exploded this silent lifeless society from within.
They attacked one another
men cut each other's throats
with knives
and slept with under-age girls
in a bed of blood.

They were drowned 
in their own terror 
and a fearful feeling of guilt
had paralyzed
their blind stupid souls.

Always at execution ceremonies
when the noose ejected
the convulsive eyes of the convict
out of the sockets
they withdrew into themselves
and their fatigued old nerves
twinged with a carnal imagination

But you would always see
these petty criminals 
in the squares
standing and gazing at
the constant down-flow of water
from fountains.

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Perhaps, 
behind the crushed eyes 
and in the depth of the frost
there still existed a half-alive confused thing
which in its sluggish struggle
tried to believe in the purity
of the songs of water

Perhaps!
but what an endless void!
the sun had died
and no one knew that
the name of the sorrowful dove
which had escaped the hearts
was "Faith"

Oh voice imprisoned! 
Will the magnificence of your despair
ever cut a tunnel into the light
from anywhere in this loathsome night?
oh voice imprisoned!
the last voice of all voices
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Research: Iranian Contemporary Poems

 

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