Modern Persian lyric

Day by day, the censorship in Iran becomes stricter. The young Iranian poet Leili Galehdaran has therefore chosen to send her third collection, Sinior to the Swedish-located publisher Baran. If she had tried to get it printed in Iran, the book had, with necessity, been a totally different kind of poetry collection. Here we publish two texts representative of her style—modern poetry, influenced by classic Persian tradition.

September 27 2012 Text: Leili Galehdaran Translation from Swedish: Agneta Wirberg

 

The Knight

 

He bent over my lips

and spoke confidentially to the life growing in my womb:

You are the master of the house now

 

But during the season of Seville oranges

the house was grenades and a rain of bombs

 

Instead of him they handed me bubbles

that the shark’s cold snout could see

and an oil-stained manuscript

 

Bubbles that the shark’s cold snout

could see

and an oil-stained manuscript

was all I got for him,

for he who vanished without a trace

 

Oil burning in a wide circle

in the river Shatt al-Arab and in my heart

 

The Knight I sent to the front lines

came back torn to pieces

 

I live between Don Quixote and Hamlet now

who is calling out uncle to his father

 

And you brother

do not look at me

as if you see in me

a woman from Baghdad

 

………………………………………………………………………………………

 

Falcon

 

Wings, a Chador in the wind

In vain

again

So many inside me

Penguins

Ostriches

Partridges

And Chickens