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Forough Farrokhzad

(5 January 1935 - 14 February 1967 / Tehran)

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The Wave


To me you are a wave;
never here, never there!
You are –still- nowhere!

Grabbing,
dragging, then fleeing away,
you swiftly spread- like a deadly plague,
on the run for the Other Soil, your destination's vague!

Watching you-
from far and wide,
in my seized eye,
you’re a rebellious tide-
in an eternal glide.

Insistent, impatient, then a restless errant,
you must be calm in heart, fretful just in act!
And I now know, the sea of regret- is your native land.

Yes, you are an unruly tide!
So always on the ride,
in an eternal glide!

But one night,
I will wear a mask-
made of the thirst-
of the remotest shores,
and their desert islands.
And I’ll capture you- in my absorbing sands,
forever far away- from your naval natal lands.


Translation: Maryam Dilmaghani, July 2006, Montreal

Submitted: Thursday, December 29, 2011

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Comments about this poem (The Wave by Forough Farrokhzad )

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  • Deci Hernandez (5/21/2012 3:13:00 PM)

    No. the poem cannot capture this type of nowhere. only can it sit by the shore and hope to absorb for a little while the rebellious tide. i dont understand this kind of patience but i know i have seen it in my life. (Report) Reply

  • Pranab K Chakraborty (5/21/2012 9:17:00 AM)

    Waving object even if it be wind, it has an existence. But beautifully beginning first stanza of the translated poem, we see, poet demonstrates, an object of no existence. Whats this? Waving but no existence! How did she imagine Or is there any mistake in translating the poetic perception! But written spontaneously with soft and sweet words. At the last stanza again poet desires to hold the object eternally by transforming herself into absorbing sands metaphorically. Much confusing. No object, but waving and lastly poet wants to catch it by her thirst.... whats this? At least it should be an abstract object which exists either here or there or somewhere else or everywhere at the same time which we can not catch it hold. Perhaps poet and translator between there is a mislink. (Report) Reply

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