Sohrab Sepehri

(7 October,1928 - 21 April,1980 / Kashan, Iran)

The Old Tale Of Night - Poem by Sohrab Sepehri

O you lost in the stellar green wonders!
The fig of ignorance
Epitomizes the virgin rocks
The heart of water is pining
For the reflection of a garden
The everyday apple tastes of illusion in the mouth.
O old fear!
My fingers went numb when you came to me.
My hands know no fear:
Tonight they pluck fruits
From the branches of myths.
Each tree bears
As many leaves as my fears.
Audacious speech thawed in the burning meeting of eyes
O colorful beginnings!
Protect my eyes from the evil magic:
I am still
Dreaming of
Unknown nocturnal blessings.
I am still
Thirsting for
Wavy waters.
My buttons
Look like ancient magic words.
On the meadows
We had our last carnal feast before words began.

In this feast, the music of stars
Fell upon my ears from inside the potteries.
And my eyes reflected the swarms of migrating magicians.
O ancient mirror of narcissus in sorrow!
Ecstasy carried me away.
- To the realm of growth?
- Perhaps

Let us drink water of wisdom when we thirst for speech.

The pure modesty of speech
Flows under the strewn legacy of night:
Before syllables came into being,
The living had their resurrection.
From among the rivals
Arrogant speech cracked my jaws.
I, wading knee-high
In pure vegetable silence,
Bathed my hands and face in the sight of objects.
Then, in another season,
My shoes got wet
With the word of dew
Then, I sat down on a rock
And listened to the pebbles migrating past my feet.
Then I perceived
That each branch
Escaped the season of my hands.

O counterfeit night!
My kerchief filled with unripe clusters of prudence.

From behind the wall of a deep sleep,
A bird flew out of intimate darkness
And took my kerchief away.
The first pebble of inspiration echoed under my feet.
My blood tenderly hosted the space.
My pulse swam over the elements.

O night...!
No, what am I saying?
The illumination of window warmed up the listener's cold body,
My fingers traveled in the direction of love.

(Translated by Ismail Salami)

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Poem Submitted: Friday, December 30, 2011

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