Brother Iran, I feel your pain.
I feel it as when the Turk fled Spain.
As the Jew fled, too, that constricting span,
I feel your pain, Brother Iran.
Brother Iran, I know you are noble!
I too fear Hiroshima and Chernobyl.
But though my heart shudders, I have a plan,
and I know you are noble, Brother Iran.
Brother Iran, I salute your Poets!
your Mathematicians! , all your great Wits!
O, come join the earth's great Caravan.
We'll include your Poets, Brother Iran.
Brother Iran, I love your Verse!
Come take my hand now, let's rehearse
the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.
For I love your Verse, Brother Iran.
Brother Iran, civilization's Flower!
How high flew your towers in man's early hours!
Let us build them yet higher, for that's my plan,
civilization's first flower, Brother Iran.
He Lived: Excerpts from 'Gilgamesh'
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch
He who visited hell, his country's foundation,
Was well-versed in mysteries' unseemly dark places.
He deeply explored many underworld realms
Where he learned of the Deluge and why Death erases.
He built the great ramparts of Uruk-the-Sheepfold
And of holy Eanna. Then weary, alone,
He recorded his thoughts in frail scratchings called 'words':
But words made immortal, once chiseled in stone.
These walls he erected are ever-enduring:
Vast walls where the widows of dead warriors weep.
Stand by them. O, feel their immovable presence!
For no other walls are as strong as this keep's.
Come, climb Uruk's tower on a starless night—
Ascend its steep stairway to escape modern error.
Cross its ancient threshold. You are close to Ishtar,
The Goddess of Ecstasy and of Terror!
Find the cedar box with its hinges of bronze;
Lift the lid of its secrets; remove its dark slate;
Read of the travails of our friend Gilgamesh—
Of his descent into hell and man's terrible fate!
Surpassing all kings, heroic in stature,
Wild bull of the mountains, the Goddess his dam
—Bedding no other man; he was her sole rapture—
Who else can claim fame, as he thundered, 'I am! '
Enkidu Enters the House of Dust
an original poem by Michael R. Burch
I entered the house of dust and grief.
Where the pale dead weep there is no relief,
for there night descends like a final leaf
to shiver forever, unstirred.
There is no hope left when the tree's stripped bare,
for the leaf lies forever dormant there
and each man cloaks himself in strange darkness, where
all company's unheard.
No light's ever pierced that oppressive night
so men close their eyes on their neighbors' plight
or stare into darkness, lacking sight...
each a crippled, blind bat-bird.
Were these not once eagles, gallant men?
Who sits here—pale, wretched and cowering—then?
O, surely they shall, they must rise again,
gaining new wings? 'Absurd!
For this is the House of Dust and Grief
where men made of clay, eat clay. Relief
to them's to become a mere windless leaf,
lying forever unstirred.'
'Anu and Enlil, hear my plea!
Ereshkigal, they all must go free!
Beletseri, dread scribe of this Hell, hear me! '
But all my shrill cries, obscured
by vast eons of dust, at last fell mute
as I took my place in the ash and soot.
an original poem by Michael R. Burch
after Robert Graves, with a nod to Mary Shelley
I have come to the dark side of things
where the bat sings
its evasive radar
and Want is a crooked forefinger
attached to a gelatinous wing.
I have grown animate here, a stitched corpse
hooked to electrodes.
moves upon me—progenitor of life
with its foul breath.
Blind eyes have their second sight
and still are deceived. Now my nature
is softly to moan
as Desire carries me
swooningly across her threshold.
is less infinite than her crone's
gargantuan hooked nose, her driveling lips.
I eye her ecstatically—her dowager figure,
and there is something about her that my words transfigure
to a consuming emptiness.
We are at peace
with each other; this is our venture—
swaying, the strings tautening, as tightropes
tauten, as love tightens, constricts
to the first note.
Lyre of our hearts' pits,
orchestration of nothing, adits
of emptiness! We have come to the last of our hopes,
sweet as congealed blood sweetens for flies.
Need is reborn; love dies.
Keywords/Tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, epic, epical, orient occident, oriental, ancient, ancestors, ancestry, primal, first poets, first poetry, original, Iran
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem