My Favourite Persian Poem

PUBLISHED ON MARCH 21, 2022 — POETRY

There is a lot of poetry that I have deeply enjoyed reading over the years. Growing up in Iran where poetry is an integral part of the culture left a lasting impression on me. As Nowruz came to pass this year, I visited some of my favourite poems to celebrate the new year. There are pillars of the Persian classical literature who are most famous such as Ferdowsi, Rumi, Saadi, Hafez and Omar Khayam among others. Most of my favorite Persian poetry however comes from the contemporary poets that I adored reading growing up. To name a few: Ahmad Shamlou, Forugh Farrokhzad, Sohrab Sepehri.

My favourite Persian poet of all time is none other than
Hamid Mossadegh. Below is a poem I remember fondly reading as a 13-year old madly in love with a girl in our family friends’ circle. It is a love story for another time. I am not entirely sure whether the lasting impression of this poem is because of how I remember my first love (To quote Dumbledore: “Oh, to be young and feel love’s keen sting!” ;) ) or whether I would have felt the same reading it years later. Nonetheless, here it is in Persian and my best attempt at translating it. May the language Gods forgive me for my mistakes.

حمید مصدق/خرداد ماه 1343:

تو به من خندیدی و نمی دانستی
من به چه دلهره از باغچه همسایه سیب را دزدیدم
باغبان از پی من تند دوید
سیب را دست تو دید
غضب آلود به من کرد نگاه
سیب دندان زده از دست تو افتاد به خاک
و تو رفتی و هنوز
سالهاست که در گوش من آرام آرام
خش خش گام تو تکرار کنان می دهد آزارم
و من اندیشه کنان غرق در این پندارم
که چرا باغچه کوچک ما سیب نداشت…

You laughed at me
little did you know
the dread with which I had stolen,
that apple from our neigbour’s garden.
The gardener chased me away angrily,
seeing the half-eaten apple in your hands,
looked at me with rage-filled eyes.
The bitten apple rolled off your hands onto earth,
and off you went…
But it’s been for years,
still ringing in my ears,
softly,
softly,
the rustling of your footsteps away,
tormenting me over and over again,
drowning me in my own thoughts,
wondering why our own little garden,
had no apples…

TAGS: POETRY