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deepwaters Profile
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Someone Who is Like No One


(yet another one from her last (unfinished) volume of poetry: Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Season..as always, crits are welcomed)

Someone Who is Like No One
By Forough Farrokhzad


I have had a dream that someone is coming
I have dreamt of a red star
and my eyelids keep ticking
my shoes keep pairing up
and lighting may strike me
if I lie
that I dreamt of the red star
when I was not asleep
someone is coming
someone else
someone better
someone who is like no one
not like Father, or like Ensie
not like Yahya, not like Mother
he is like someone he should be,
whose height is higher
than the trees in the mayor’s house,
whose face
brighter than the Messiah’s,
he is not afraid of Seid Javad’s brother who
wears a uniform these days,
he is not afraid of even Seid Javad himself who
owns every single room in our house,
his name
just like Mother calls him at the start and finish of her prayer
is either *Qazi-ol-Qozzat
or *Hajat-ol-Hajat,
he can read with his eyes closed
every hard word in a third grader’s book
can even deduct
a thousand from twenty million without missing a penny,
can take home on credit, anything he needs
from Seid Javad’s market,
can make the bulb that reads Allah
that was green, green like dawn’s sky
light up once again on the sky of the Mosque,
ay…
how great to have light
how great to have light
how badly I want
for Yahya
to have a pushcart
and a yellow lantern,
how badly I want
to sit
among the watermelons and cantaloupes on Yahya’s cart
and take a spin around Mohammadiyeh Square
ay…
how great is spinning the square
how great is sleeping on the roof
how great is going to the National city park
how great is the taste of Pepsi
how great is *Fardin’s cinema
and how greatly I love all the great things
and how badly I want
to pull the braids of Seid Javad’s daughter

why am I so small
to get lost in the streets
why Father, who is not so small
and doesn’t get lost in the streets,
is not doing something to rush
the arrival of the one who came to my dream, to my day dream,
and the people from the Slaughterhouse neighborhood
whose gardens have blood in their soil
whose ponds have blood in their water
whose shoes have blood on their bottoms
why don’t they do something
why don’t they do something
the sun is so lazy in the winter

I have swept the staircase to the roof
and have washed the window
why is it that Father is the only one
who should dream at night
I have swept the staircase to the roof
and have washed the window

someone is coming
someone is coming
someone whose heart is with us, whose breath is with us, whose voice is with us

someone whose coming
cannot be stopped
cannot be arrested and thrown in jail
someone who has had a baby under Yahya’s aged trees
and day after day
he grows and grows,
someone made of rain, of the pouring sound of rain, of the whispers
of Bluebells
someone is coming from the sky of Toupkhane* after fireworks
who spreads the feast
shares the bread
shares the Pepsi
shares the National city park
shares the cough syrup
shares the school registration day
shares the admission to the city hospital
shares the plastic goulashes
shares Fardin’s cinema
shares the dresses of Seid Javad’s daughter
shares everything that is leftover
and gives us our share
I have had a dream…


----------
Qazi-ol-Qozzat* – literally means the Judge of judges; meaning the ultimate person who will judge everyone. I am not sure if this is what God would be called or the Messiah. Will look in to it.

Hajat-ol-Hajat* – literally means “the one who answers every need”; again it is either God or Messiah.

Fardin* – perhaps the most famous leading man of Iranian cinema, he came to fame during the 60s, ]here is a little more

Toupkhane* – the name of a famous (and probably the oldest) square in central Tehran





Last edited by deepwaters, Feb/25/2010, 4:45 am
Feb/24/2010, 6:25 pm Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Someone Who is Like No One


I'll come back later, Shabfriend. First reading amounts to this: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Tere
Feb/24/2010, 10:07 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
deepwaters Profile
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Re: Someone Who is Like No One


I hope those are good "!"s emoticon
Feb/25/2010, 9:14 pm Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 
Terreson Profile
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Of course they are, Ma'am. But I need a Saturday to give the poem's translation what it deserves. Like the governator of CA says, I'll be back.

Tere
Feb/25/2010, 9:28 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
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Finally, Shabfriend. I can give the poem's translation the time it deserves.

Probably I've mentioned this before. But maybe you know the poetry of the 16th C Hindu poet, Mirabai. She was a mystical poet who wrote erotically of he who she called the Dark One, Krishna. In her poetry, and I think this is key, there is the implicit criticism of a caste, even a class based, society. This poem of Forough's comes through similarly. To me she invokes the perfect one, the Dark One by whatever name. She makes a social criticism and does it in the personal lyrical voice. We tend to forget that mystical poets can be the harshest, most uncompromising critics of business-as-usual. And I know why. They are the ones who understand in their bodies that the godhead, and by whatever name, is an experience available to the poor and the rich alike. This is the vein in which I read the poem. Does it tally with your reading?

I don't know whose idea "Pepsi" is, yours or hers. But it is perfect and effectively jarring. It speaks to a certain commercialization of values and dreams and desires. It speaks to a certain commodification of human relations. Both of which speak to the dumbing down of the imagination in the globalized village. This is what comes through for me. This is what makes more poignant the narrator's all but sensual day dream of the perfect one who comes and who gives meaning back to spaces, to rooms, neighborhoods, parks, and the city. I swear I think that is what she is after here.

The more I read of her through you the more frustrated I am that I did not know her poetry before now. I honestly can't believe she is not more widely translated and better known. This is major poetry you are taking on. Of course, I can't speak to the accuracy of your translations. But I can speak to, respond to, the largeness of soul your translations bring to English. Every time I read a new poem of hers I am reminded of what haunts poetry keeps to at its best.

Tere
Feb/27/2010, 9:12 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
deepwaters Profile
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quote:

Terreson wrote:

Probably I've mentioned this before. But maybe you know the poetry of the 16th C Hindu poet, Mirabai. She was a mystical poet who wrote erotically of he who she called the Dark One, Krishna. In her poetry, and I think this is key, there is the implicit criticism of a caste, even a class based, society. This poem of Forough's comes through similarly. To me she invokes the perfect one, the Dark One by whatever name. She makes a social criticism and does it in the personal lyrical voice. We tend to forget that mystical poets can be the harshest, most uncompromising critics of business-as-usual. And I know why. They are the ones who understand in their bodies that the godhead, and by whatever name, is an experience available to the poor and the rich alike. This is the vein in which I read the poem. Does it tally with your reading?



To me, this one of her most political poems. It speaks so much to what goes on in the society, and yes as you mention - class and social criticism.


I don't know whose idea "Pepsi" is, yours or hers.



hers. it is perfect, isn't it?

quote:

This is what makes more poignant the narrator's all but sensual day dream of the perfect one who comes and who gives meaning back to spaces, to rooms, neighborhoods, parks, and the city. I swear I think that is what she is after here.



I am right there with you.

quote:

The more I read of her through you the more frustrated I am that I did not know her poetry before now. I honestly can't believe she is not more widely translated and better known. This is major poetry you are taking on. Of course, I can't speak to the accuracy of your translations.



I don't know if you have looked at other translations online. I look at the one I post, after I post. It seems to me that you can tell both translations say the same thing, but I really believe that I get her, her sense of rhythm, her sense of poetry, and what she is trying to convey. I do feel that her poetry has not found followers because the translations available don't do it justice. I hope it doesn't sound like I have a big head or anything, I just think this is worth doing.
-shab
Feb/28/2010, 3:09 am Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 
Terreson Profile
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Go ahead, Shabfriend, and get a big head. I know poetry when I see it. Through your words Forough comes alive on the screen. I can see, taste, touch, and smell what she sees, tastes, touches, and smells. The whole of poet's large soul comes through. And your line rhythms are affecting, coming through without a slip. What's happening between the two of you is pretty damn special. Maybe you've come to her in this manner at just the right time in your life. I wouldn't be surprised if she is opening you up in some way.

I am kind of thinking we should move your translations of her in the Translations forum to here. They would be better protected until you are ready to do something with what you have. Let me know what you want.

Tere
Feb/28/2010, 2:13 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
deepwaters Profile
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quote:

Terreson wrote:
I am kind of thinking we should move your translations of her in the Translations forum to here. They would be better protected until you are ready to do something with what you have. Let me know what you want.
Tere



Yes, I agree. I was hesitant to ask and create more work for you. But, I would want them all in here if possible. Thanks.

I occasionally post the translations on FaceBook to see how farsi speakers react to them. I have had to deactivate my account because of traveling to Iran, but once I am there I will be able to get my hands on some people who have a good understanding of h er poems too. It should be fruitful. I will say hi to Forough for you, Tere.

Feb/28/2010, 2:21 pm Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 
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Consider it done, Shab. And when you go to her grave site tell her a bee keeper you know gets her.

Tere
Feb/28/2010, 2:35 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
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Thanks very much.
Feb/28/2010, 2:47 pm Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 
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Hi Shab,

I've been thinking about these footnotes:

quote:

Qazi-ol-Qozzat* – literally means the Judge of judges; meaning the ultimate person who will judge everyone. I am not sure if this is what God would be called or the Messiah. Will look in to it.

Hajat-ol-Hajat* – literally means “the one who answers every need”; again it is either God or Messiah.



I was wondering if you are trying to translate one of the 99 names of Allah into an English equivalent? If so, I'm thinking we may not have one. Or rather, that Christianity may not have one. There is God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit/Ghost. Jesus is also known and the Messiah, the Redeemer, the Saviour, the Good Shepherd, Prince of Peace. I found the 99 names in Arabic:

 [sign in to see URL]'an

I have a postcard on the bulletin board above my writing desk that says: Al-Baqi, The Everlasting. On the list above it is defined, "The Ever Enduring and Immutable." Perhaps I am wrong, but I was wondering if the different names mentioned in the poem reflect slightly different qualities the one who is praying uses, depending on the need. They say Eskimos have many different word for snow, but in English there is only one. If you are trying to translate one of the 99 names, I'm not sure, but perhaps it would be better to go for something closer to the original instead of trying to reduce it down too much?

One spelling error:

"and lighting [lightning] may strike me"

I am fascinated by this juxtapostion:

"and lighting may strike me
if I lie
that I dreamt of the red star
when I was not asleep"

and:

"is not doing something to rush
the arrival of the one who came to my dream, to my day dream,"

I like these lines:

"someone is coming
someone is coming
someone whose heart is with us, whose breath is with us, whose voice is with us"

This is a dizzy, harrowing, desperate, hopeful poem. The poem itself spins I think, like a whirlwind emcompassing everything that Forough saw and heard and thought and felt. Cri du coeur is how it comes across to me.


 
Mar/6/2010, 10:55 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
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Tere wrote: "I don't know whose idea "Pepsi" is, yours or hers. But it is perfect and effectively jarring. It speaks to a certain commercialization of values and dreams and desires. It speaks to a certain commodification of human relations. Both of which speak to the dumbing down of the imagination in the globalized village."

I was reminded of a term I read in the article about Ewa Lipska I quoted in another thread:

"to find entry into the crystalline, richly ironic poems of a woman [Lipska] who has lived through much of the twentieth century in a nation whose history is one of occupations: German Nazism, Soviet communism, and most recently the increasing presence of American and western European capitalism, what Clare Cavanagh has called the colonization of the Second World (83), or "Coca-Colonialization," as Polish university students are often fond of saying."

[sign in to see URL]

I'd heard the term Pepsi-nation before but Coca-colonialization was new to me. McDonald-ideation might be another telling term.
Mar/7/2010, 8:25 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
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Excellent reflections, Katfriend. And apt.

Tere
Mar/7/2010, 1:44 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 


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