30 March 2010

Tryst in the Night - Forough Farraokhzad

The face flourished
And from beyond the concrete limits of the tear
spoke to me:

“The seer is the only righteous referee;
I am scary like stranger dark routes
O God!
But how may one fear me?
Fearing me, who has never been but a kite
A light vagabond kite
on the roof of profound misty skies?

I am a no thing.
And my love and my hatred
My desire and my pain
Are chewed by the callous mice of demise.”

The face flourished
With its regular fine lines
That the floating hands of the wind
would rub away
and draw again;
With its long soft hair
That the veiled ballet of the night
Would pour in the wide bosom of the dark.

The face
like the jade coral of the depth of the seas
was flowing past gates of the tear
And screamed:
“Believe me!
I am not alive!”

And beneath her
I was seeing the opaque flake of dusk
And the silvery crop of pines
I was seeing and yet...

And she was sliding over this all
And the vastness of her heart would soar.
She seemed being the green soul of the trees
She seemed holding the eternity in her eyes.

“You are right!
Since I am no longer alive,
I do not dare to stare
into my own eyes
and death grew so immense in me
That nil but death itself
reflects my Self.”

Did you hear the footsteps of cricket who
in the shelter of the shady garden
fled to the moon?

I believe
That all the stars
have migrated to a forsaken sky.
And the town, how quite is the town!
And in all length of my errand
I did not come across
But to a few errant
who smelt sand, ash and dust
And to a group of sombre statues
covered with a thick pelt of rust
and to the crowd of busted, dull guards.

I am not alive
And still the night
streams along the same vain torrent.”

She quenched
And the vast land of her sight
burnt in the flare of cry and sigh.

“And you!
concealing your face
behind this gloomy mask
do you at times ask
where has gone life
from these moving shadows?
They seem like infants grown aged
right at their first beam.
And the heart,
this distorted letter
by the invisible hands of time
can no longer trust
its own sense.”

Perhaps the addiction to the word of life
And other countless nameless drugs
have spoiled all the humane from men
Or it could be
that they exiled the soul
all alone
to a remote isle.
Or perhaps
I have only dreamed
of the song of that cricket
in those foggy nights...

Could it be
that these lame passers
leaning on their wooden crunch
Are the knights of the past?
Could it be that these wretched watchers
Are the heirs of those revered seekers?

Then it is true, plainly true
That man is no longer awaiting the redeemer,
And that naive young girls
have closed their eyes
with their sharp needles forever.

Now, the echo of the cry of crows
Flies in the light dreams of the dawn.
In this town
The mirrors are awake
And loner, isolated shapes
Escape from the gory front of nightmares
To the haven of the first glance of the day.

I am standing at the end
with the stardust memories of my past
And with the remnant of my pride,
my guilty pride,
deriding underneath the weight of my life.

I am standing at the end
And I listen:
None! But silence!
And I stare:
None! Not even the tremble of a leaf!
And my name
That recalled the limpid breath of the lights
Flows unnoticed within the dust of the graves.”

She trembled
And collapsed onto herself
And her pleading hands
Trying to reach out to me
like endless sighs:
“It is cold
And the winds
Are cutting into my veins
Is there still a soul in this land
Who does not fear the fated tryst
of her own ruined face?
Isn’t it now the time
That this tight tear
Breaks wide, wide open, wide?
And the sky cries out loud
And men pray over this graveyard?”

Perhaps it was a bird who moaned
Or the wind running through the trees
Or maybe it was just me
standing in front of the wall of my impermeable heart:
I could not but to climb
Climbing over the violent wave of shame and blame
To see that those hands
Those bitter desperate hands
Are fading away in the sham light of the day
Then a voice
From the cross point of the spheres
cried to me:

By Forough Farrokhzad

Translation: Maryam Dilmaghani from Forough Farrokhzad - the Sad Little Fairy


Sean Jeating said...

As I did not find proper words up til now, just a plain wonderful.
Thanks for sharing, Jams.

jams o donnell said...

Glad you like it Sean

Claude said...

Breathtaking...As always! I print every poem of her you offer, Jams. The more often I read them, the more I'm moved by her intense poignancy.

jams o donnell said...

I' so glad you like her work Claudia