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Are you a snake?
>>> Original Persian



Translated by Sholeh Wolpe
November 4, 2006

In an extensive commentary on the Quran’s Sureh of Yusef, it is mentioned that among animals only snakes cannot hear one another.

From behind the curtain of fog,
through the scattered bird plumes and feathers,
from among white teeth and claws,
your wild murmur
makes me breathless with yearning.

I crawl up the fog,
fly through the azure sky,
claw the thick skin of longing.

The scratched barks of trees
are my rain-soaked letter,
its fragments surrendered to the wind
by a migrant bird.

It’s a sweet temptation,
the roar of my words
that cuts open the sable’s skin
searching for his lover.

My brand is a lion’s sharp claw
in pursuit of a warm body
in the cold of the jungle.

Until the time my desire is deciphered
in the sable’s fury dream,
I shall lend my song to the throat of a bird
twirling in the morning’s milky mass;

Alive and mad with love
I have sung you my words; 
Are you a snake that you do not hear?

>>> Original Persian


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Borrowed Ware
Medieval Persian Epigrams
Translated by Dick Davis

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