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Forough Farrokhzad

(5 January 1935 - 14 February 1967 / Tehran)

I Feel Little Garden’s Pain


Nobody cares for flowers.
Nobody cares for birds.

Nobody wants to believe that Little Garden is dying,
Nobody wants to believe that Little Garden’s heart-
is swollen in this parching heat.

Nobody wants to know that Little Garden's mind-
is slowly losing its green past.

And it seems that Little Garden's sense is a distinct piece,
perishing fast, in the isolating scent of the air.

Our courtyard is feeling lonely.
Our courtyard is yawning-
in hope of a possible visit from a raining cloud.

Our pool is drained.
And young, tiny leaves-
are collapsing from the heights of the trees.

And from the pastel windows of the cage,
song of the birds breaks suddenly-
into the attacks of coughing.
Our courtyard is feeling lonely.


My father says:
“I am done with life,
I am done with life and I did my work.”

In his room, all day long-
he is reading history and poems.

He tells my mom:
“Who cares about upkeep of the yard?
I am ill and old and my pension-pay, is just to carry on.”

My mother’s entire life is a prayer book,
spread at the doors of fright of Hell.
My mother is looking every where-
for the blessed parts of things.

She thinks that Little Garden is spoiled by a depraved plant.
My mom is gifted with tons of innate sins.
She has to pray every day to save her restless soul.

She sends blessing to flowers and birds,
She sends blessing to me, my sister and herself,
She is longing for the resurrection day-
and Divine Pardon that will descend.


My brother calls Little Garden “Graveyard”.
My brother laughs at the chaos of the lawn-
He is counting the bloated bodies of birds,
My brother is addicted to Philosophy.

My brother knows: to salvage Little Garden,
we must wipe it out, as soon as we can!

My bother gets drunk,
My brother blows up mirrors,
plates and painting frames.

He is trying so hard, so hard, so hard to show-
that he is very desperate, sad and drawn.

He takes his ID, his lighter, and his despair-
to streets, to bistros and to shops.
His despair is so tiny that every night,
it gets lost in the crowd of a bar.

My sister was friend with flowers and birds.
When my mother was mad, wanted to scold her,
she was hiding behind the green mass of the trees.
She loved to keep company of wounded, unwell birds.

My sister is living in uptown now.
Now, she has a sham house,
Now, she has an artificial plant.
She stays with her fake husband,
They listen to synthetic music,
And they will make lots of natural kids.

My sister comes to visit.
She doesn’t like dusts of Little Garden.
She always brings perfumed, hydrating creams.


Our courtyard is feeling lonely.
Our courtyard is feeling lonely.
The whole day, it sounds like razing and hammering:
Our neighbors are implanting mines in their field,
Our neighbors are mounting a safety cover for their pool,
Our neighbors’ basement looks like a secret arsenal base.
Our neighbor’s children are fighting with noisy guns and bombs.
Our courtyard is feeling scared.

And I am scared of this Heartless Time.
I am scared of all those Wasted Hands.
I am scared of all these Stranger Heads.
I am so lonely, like a nerd in Math Class.

I think we have to bring Little Garden to the clinic.
I think…
I think…
I think…
And Little Garden’s heart is swollen in this parching heat.
And Little Garden’s mind is slowly losing its green past.


Translation: Maryam Dilmaghani, June 2006, Montreal.

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

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Comments about this poem (I Feel Little Garden’s Pain by Forough Farrokhzad )

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  • Astrid Obeid (7/30/2013 7:44:00 PM)

    I love this poem...nature is changing for the worse and few seem to care. Her poem def. reflects reality. (Report) Reply

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