Forough Farrokhzad

(5 January 1935 - 14 February 1967 / Tehran)

Age Seven


Ay, age seven
Ay, the magnanimous moment of departure
Whatever happened after you,
happened in a mesh of insanity and ignorance.

After you,
the window which was a lively and bright connection
between the bird and us
between the breeze and us
broke
broke
broke
after you,
that earthly doll which did not utter a thing,
nothing but water
water
water
drowned
in water.

After you,
we killed the cricket's voice
we became lured
by the bell ring rising off of the letters of the alphabet
and the whistling of the arms factory.

After you, where our playground was beneath the desk
we graduated from beneath the desks
to behind the desks
and from behind the desks
to top of the desks
and we played on top of the desks
and lost
we lost your color
Aah, age seven.

After you,
we betrayed each other
after you,
we cleansed your memories
by lead particles and splattered blood-drops
off of the plastered temples of alley walls.

after you
we went to the squares
and shouted:
'long live...
and down with....'

and in the clamor of the square
we applauded the little singing coins
which had insidiously come to visit our town.

After you,
us: each other's murderers,
judged love
and while our hearts were anxious in our pockets,
we judged love's share.

After you
we resorted to cemeteries and death was breathing under the grandmother's veil
and death
was that corpulent tree
which the living of this side of the 'origin'
would tie their desire-thread to its weary branches
and the dead of the other side of the 'end'
would paw at its phosphorous roots
and death
was sitting on that sacred mausoleum which had four blue tulips
abruptly lighting up at its four corners.

the sound of the wind is coming
the sound of the wind is coming
Aah, age seven.

I rose up and drank water
and suddenly recollected how the plantations of your youth
became agitated by the swarm of crickets.

how much must one pay?
how much for the growth of this cemented cubicle?

We lost everything we must have lost
we started treading without a lantern
and moon
moon
the kind Feminine
was always there
in the childhood memories of a clay and straw rooftop
and above the young plantations
dreading the swamp of crickets.

How much must one pay?......


Translated by: Leila Farjami

Submitted: Thursday, December 29, 2011
Edited: Thursday, December 29, 2011

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