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deepwaters Profile
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Window (Forough)


Window
By Forough Farrokhzad
(from her last volume of poetry: Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Season)

One window to see
one window to hear
one window, like the mouth of a well
ending at the heart of earth
it opens to the expanse of this perpetual blue kindness
one window that fills
the small hands of loneliness, to the brim
with nightly charity of stars’ generous scent,
from there
you can invite the sun to the isolation of geraniums
one window is enough for me
I come from the land of dolls
from under the shades of paper trees
in the garden of a picture book
from the dry season of experiences of friendship and love, barren,
in the dirt roads of innocence
from the growing years of faded alphabets
behind these tubercular school desks
I come from that moment when kids
could write “rock” on a blackboard
and the anxious starlings flew away from the aged tree.
I come from the midst of roots of carnivorous plants
and my brain, still
is filled with the horrific echo of a butterfly
with a pin, in a notebook
crucified,
when trust was dangling from the frail rope of justice
and in this city
my lanterns’ hearts were being ripped to pieces
when with blindfolds of law
they would close my juvenile eyes of love,
from the anxious temples of my dream
blood would burst out, fountains,
when my life was nothing
but the ticking of a clock hanging on the wall
I learned I must, I must
must love intensely

one window is enough for me
one window to the moment of consciousness and stare and silence
that walnut sapling, now
has grown tall enough to interpret
the wall to its young leaves,
ask the mirror
the name of your savior;
isn’t this earth that trembles under your feet
more lonely than you?
Did prophets bring to our century
mission of destruction?
These successive explosions
and clouds of poison
are these echoes of holy verses?
Oh friend, brother, blood-brother
when you reach the moon
write down the date of the flower massacre

dreams always
fall off the height of their own naiveté and die
I smell a four-leaf clover
grown on the tomb of aged definitions,
that woman who got buried in shrouds of her innocence and anticipation
was that my youth?
Will I ever climb again up the steps of my curiosity
to say hello to the good God who walks the roof of my house?

I feel the time has passed
I feel that my share of pages of history is a “moment”
I feel that the table is a bogus distance between my locks
and the hands of this sad stranger
say something,
someone who offers you the benevolence of a live body
what else would want from you but feeling alive?

Say something
I have taken refuge in the window
I am connected to the sun.




Last edited by deepwaters, Feb/4/2010, 4:17 pm
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ChrisD1 Profile
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Re: Window (Forough)


hi shab,

something about these lines:

"I learned I must, I must
must love intensely"

captures the essence of this poetry--its immediacy, its embodiedness.

Thanks as always,for posting,

Chris
Feb/3/2010, 1:10 pm Link to this post Send Email to ChrisD1   Send PM to ChrisD1
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Window (Forough)


Hi Shab,

Another big--huge--poem. I can see why Forough is loved in Iran. She should be known and loved by the world at large. I sense that what Akhmatova is to Russia, Forough is to Iran: voice of the people, voice of the country, voice of the many in the one and a feminine voice on top of that.

I will have to read this a few more times to comment more specifically, but at the moment what comes through is largeness and the largess of the subject, the language, the poem and the poet.

These successive explosions
and clouds of poison
are these echoes of holly verses? [Did you mean holy here? I wasn't sure because holly ties in with "the flower massacre."]
Oh friend, brother, blood-brother
when you reach the moon
write down the date of the flower massacre

Feb/3/2010, 5:05 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
deepwaters Profile
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Re: Window (Forough)


Kat -
Thanks for your feedback.
quote:

Katlin wrote:

are these echoes of holly verses? [Did you mean holy here? I wasn't sure because holly ties in with "the flower massacre."]



gaaaaack! "holly" cow ;-) I fixed it.

Feb/4/2010, 4:17 pm Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 
deepwaters Profile
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Re: Window (Forough)


This poem really resonates with me, but didn't generate much response here. I wonder if I have done it justice. Let me know if you see flaws or why it might not be working.

Thanks everyone. I really appreciate your help.
-s
Feb/7/2010, 7:01 pm Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Window (Forough)


My apologies, Shabfriend. It somehow skipped off my radar.

I tell you true. Forough's poetry makes me feel drunk, gives me a sense of vertigo, and she does it with how sensually she takes hold of language and perception and experience. There is a class of poets that makes me drunk. Whitman, Akhmatova, Pushkin, Sexton. They all belong to the same class. Or maybe intoxication is the wrong term. Maybe it is just that I read poetry like this and I know I am not reading a great poet. Rather, I am reading the soul of poetry. A Russian poet said that once about Rilke. I immediately got what she meant. You are right to have taken to this poem as immediately.

There are so many good lines, so many affecting turns of phrases, so many places where I catch my breath I can't ennumerate them. I think the one place where my heart stopped would be here: "is filled with the horrific echo of a butterfly
with a pin, in a notebook
crucified,". Only a poet, or someone with a poet in her soul, gets this. Beauty killed in order to get collected and documented. For what it is worth, and maybe you can use it, pinning insects to paper is called the Riker mount, named after the American entomologist who started the practice.

Three words bother my ear. I can't know if they are yours or hers. Perpetual, isolation, and starlings. They bother my ear and they jar my sense of things. I am pretty sure, for example, there are no starlings in Iran. Maybe I am wrong. I would have to check my bird books. As for the other two words, I guess I am suggesting the translation go for something more Anglo-Saxon, since both are latinates.

But this is such a gorgeous poem. I can't believe your courage in taking on such a master poet.

Tere

Last edited by Terreson, Feb/12/2010, 9:10 pm
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deepwaters Profile
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Re: Window (Forough)


quote:

Terreson wrote:

Three words bother my ear. I can't know if they are yours or hers. Perpetual, isolation, and starlings.



Tere-

As always, I am grateful that you always take the time to comment on the translations.

1. Perpetual - hm. I will reread the original a few times. The word sounded very right to me.

2. Isolation - yup, I share your sentiment here. It never sounded exactly right. I also toyed with "alienation" which is I think closer to the meaning she intended. What do you think of that word?

3. Starlings - well, I have to admit that I had to look up a dictionary because I wasn't sure what the bird was in English, and "starling" is what the dictionary gave me. Not necessarily the right word, but I also looked it up on Wiki and looked at the pictures, and I am pretty sure we have these birds in Iran. But, I am not a birder.

Thanks again.
-s

Feb/10/2010, 1:42 pm Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Window (Forough)


Hi Shab,

I came back earlier to comment on this poem, but I stopped myself when I saw Tere's comments about perpetual, isolation and starlings: none of which bothered me. In fact, "the isolation of geraniums" was a phrase that stuck with me. Go figure.

The image of the crucified butterfly is powerful. I really like these lines:

"that walnut sapling, now
has grown tall enough to interpret
the wall to its young leaves,"

Not sure about the line that proceeds them:

"one window to the moment of consciousness and stare and silence"

Maybe drop the first "and" and put a comma there?

Otherwise, this is another poem filled with wonderful images, insights, observations. Poetry of thought, as Tere has said, but also poetry of feeling. The second half of the poem, S2-5, speak to me personally, as I beleive Forough wished them to:

"I feel the time has passed
I feel that my share of pages of history is a “moment”
I feel that the table is a bogus distance between my locks
and the hands of this sad stranger
say something,
someone who offers you the benevolence of a live body
what else would want from you but feeling alive?

Say something
I have taken refuge in the window
I am connected to the sun."

They have spoken to you too, yes? That is one reason you are doing these translations?

Last edited by Katlin, Feb/18/2010, 6:31 pm
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deepwaters Profile
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Re: Window (Forough)


Kat -

Thank you for commenting.


quote:

The image of the crucified butterfly is powerful.


I am glad, I had to tweak it a bit to make sure it comes across as powerfully in the translation as in the original, so this is great to know.

quote:


"one window to the moment of consciousness and stare and silence"


duly noted. I think I know what the problem is, let me play with it a bit.

quote:

The second half of the poem, S2-5, speak to me personally, as I beleive Forough wished them to:

"I feel the time has passed
I feel that my share of pages of history is a “moment”
I feel that the table is a bogus distance between my locks
and the hands of this sad stranger
say something,
someone who offers you the benevolence of a live body
what else would want from you but feeling alive?

Say something
I have taken refuge in the window
I am connected to the sun."

They have spoken to you to, yes? That is one reason you are doing these translations?


yes and yes, you got it exactly right. that passage speaks to me; I feel like I know exactly what she is saying.

Thanks again.
-s
Feb/18/2010, 4:12 pm Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 


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