Autumn. It sucks.

Even if the season is trying to fool us with this summer heat, Fall is coming and with it, the chance to mope around with some grumpy poets. Bahar loved to  write poetry at the brink of seasons; triumphal odes to Spring and more reflective (i.e., grumpy) poems as his beloved garden started to droop.

But those poems are long and complicated and I’m a busy man, so here’s a modern piece by Forugh FarroForugh_Farrokhzad1khzad.  She was a fascinating and short-lived figure, famous for her poetry and notorious for her independent lifestyle as a divorcee in 1950’s Iran. Here’s a website devoted to her life and work, chock full of translations, photos, and even audio of the poet reading.

This is the shi’r-e naw, “new poetry”, of the twentieth century and onward which abandoned the strictures of classical form and content and whole-heartedly embraced blank verse and Western styles. Honestly, I have little practice with it and this is my first attempt at translating the style.

“Autumn”

I close two eyes full of pain

against Nature’s bewitching face

so that my fevered gaze does not rest upon

these vistas of regret and mourning.

Autumn, dust stained traveller,

What is it you hide amongst your robes?

What riches do you offer this world,

other than leaves, withered and dying?

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About M.C. Smith

translatingpersian@gmail.com View all posts by M.C. Smith

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