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The necklace

By Simin Behbahani
Translated by Korosh Khalili
February 20, 2002
The Iranian

Distressed and Depressed, Deluded and Dejected,
Her face not hidden by the veil, nor her Hejab corrected
Bothered not was she, by arrest or seize
Nor by the vice of the Virtue Police

Her eyes like two grapes: plucked and pressed by fate
Her tears, the bloody brew: many a soul would devastate
Insane she was, purely insane, incognizant of foe or friend
She would not awake from oblivion, where great tremors to signal the End
Like dust trapped in a sandstorm: Selflessly carried, helplessly hurried
Purposeless, silent, startled, stunned: A corpse she was, yet to be buried

A pair of laces: tied about her neck, a Dead Soldier's boots: hanging from those threads
"What charm is this?" inquired I. She turned to me wearing a smile:
"My baby's so tired," She answered my call,
"So I carry him, wearing boots an' all"

Translator's Note

The purpose of this translation was to expose the poem (written in 1987) and poet to a wider audience. As I am neither a poet, nor a translator, I apologize for the inadequacies of this translation. The readers should refer to the original (published in USA,
Negaar-e Golgoon, Ketab Corp, 1998) to discover the many subtleties which are lost here. For an alternative, more of a free verse tranlation, please see "A Cup of Sin, selected poems of Simin Behbahani" (Syracuse University Press, 1999).

Comment for The Iranian letters section
Comment for the translator Korosh Khalili

By Simin Behbahani

Five poems

Sharab-e Nur


Life story

By Korosh Khalili

Sipping chai at Starbucks
Poem in response to "Sipping lattes in diaspora"

Deev ham deevaay oon zamoon
"Lord of the Rings" so so


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