The Ambush of Mehrnoush

(In loving memory of Mehrnoush Ebrahimi 1948-1971)


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The Ambush of Mehrnoush
by Azadeh Azad
06-Sep-2008
 

On the anniversary of your death
what should I call you, a gone guerrilla? The first female
Fedayee gun-downed to death in an ambush? A girl
in strife who left life for something better?

I simply remember you as mild-mannered Mehroush
my friend and classmate at Tehran U's Medical school
where we shared a corpse to dissect in the third year
and laughed our hearts out calling it Akbar Agha!

You were lambent, lenient, and in love
lighted by your dead communist father
and your neurotic mother, you were on a
trouble spree as you were only twenty-three,
innocent of the world's tapestry and of people
whom you only knew by the dream of them
a barrage of visions of their fair tyranny,
a mirage of your convictions
in the desert of mind.

Though I held you sighted
I knew nothing of your heroic fervor
doomed idealism and the way
the world felt to you. I only knew
you were red as blood and roses
camouflaged on the campus by your copy
of Being and Nothingness you often held
in your arms, pulling a curtain of silence
between your language and mine.

Last I saw you, you cast yourself on the seat
across my table in our joint, that cafeteria a beat
away from Diana Cinema, had tea and sweet,
talked of the Vietnam War and Shah's Health Corps
and when your lover joined us smiling deliciously,
you stroke your eyes against his face, shook the golden
light out of your hair and beamed at Cupid's dart
as sympathy snaked through your heart
and your hazel eyes ached for future
of the people, in a quixotic way.

When I left Iran I heard you were
caught in an ambush, resisted the armed
secret police and got shot under a soulful
sun that dripped honey for the nation.

With legend of Guevara
wedged into your despair, you'd been hiding
with your lover and comrades in this clandestine
house in a shantytown suburb of Tehran, armed
with pistols, grenades, machine-guns,
cyanide for suicide, blades of justice
buried in your blood.

Then one autumn morning
you stepped out of the house, items in hand
walked up the short alley, stopped and turned
saw shadowy figures surrounding
the fantasy-filled house, whole neighbourhood,
no song of cicadas in the arid air,
crows and sparrows had flown away
from rat-infested ditches, empty plots,
moments ticked so slowly by.

And you ran, ran at the speed of thought
sought to escape to a nearby neighbour's
ignored warnings to surrender or die,
poets' words shrieked in pain at once
you heard a song as soft as nothingness
and were riddled with thirteen bullet holes
as the wind held its baffled breath.

Thus you faded into your flawed convictions
far before our motherland became foul
and full of graves.

On the anniversary of your death,
I lay on your eyelids my hand's spell
and watch time reverse itself, life
flow back into you and you, lifting
out of the oblivion, fly backwards,
like a tumbler pigeon, onto the alley
where the alphabet of your landscape ended.

I wash you in my relish for life,
warm you with my heart's singeing sun,
and feed your sight with today's substances
that come from our yesterday's lapses.

Then I glance all my questions at you
and wait to see if you still want to
sacrifice your precious life for our people
in that futile way, running full chest
into a brick wall, to get them out
of our Matrix, our shadows' flesh.

(c)2008, Azadeh Azad


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more from Azadeh Azad
 
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Dear "IRANdokht"

by Azadeh.Azad (not verified) on

Thank you so much for your kind feedback. I totaly agree with your view. And yes, Nazy's Review was remarkable.

We all have so much to learn from each other, if only we look at every work in its entirety and specific context.

- Azadeh


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Guerrilla Movements

by Exiled (not verified) on

It's a shame how these terrorist organizations were able to recruit young men and women, play with their emotions and transform them into terrorists back then. My heart aches when I think of these pure young Iranians who lost their lives for some bloodthirsty, undemocratic and sectarian movements. How could these young Iranians believe that their leaders wanted to establish a democracy in Iran while their adored Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot & Co.?


IRANdokht

victim

by IRANdokht on

If you had read it right, you would have agreed with that sentiment too. Who wouldn't want to bring back time and talk to them as a wise friend and persuade them to change their ways?

Did you enjoy being a victim so much that you wouldn't want to talk sense into them if given the chance?

 

read again before you attack please!

What I read in this part isn't just your wish to reverse time to
bring your friend back to life to a young Azadeh, her friend. I read
your wish to bring your young friend back to you, the mature and
knowing Azadeh, to give her advice and to ask her all the right
questions somebody should have asked her then, sending her off to
continuation of her life with more wisdom and self-preservation.

That wish sits on the collective memory and hearts of our nation today.

 

IRANdokht


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To all one-way sentimentalists

by victim of "fedayee" violence (not verified) on

"That wish sits on the collective memory and hearts of our nation today."

These were the ending words of Ms Kaviani's comment. Such generalizations may sound emotively appealing but in reality are only rhetorics. It also shows how detached you are from those whom you describe as "our nation".

Does this "nation" of yours include the victims of the terror Mehrnoush and her comrades were inflicting upon them?


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Young and immature

by Anonymous iranian (not verified) on

Loss of life is always hard,especially when the person is a young educated Iranian woman,but like Azadeh said they were young and immature.When people are young they think that they can change a regime especially with a group of them get together.We have seen that with Fadaees in Siahkal which ended with many of them losing their lives.


IRANdokht

beautiful sentiments

by IRANdokht on

beautiful sentiments expressed eloquently...

It doesn't matter how wrong we now think they were. These young men and women believed in their fights due to the circumstances forced upon them. They were brave and they were idealistic, they were taken to the wrong path due to the oppression and political obscurity of their time. We have all mourned the loss of our courageous but naive friends, the sentiments you spoke of are too familiar and painful. I loved Nazy's comment too, her analysis of your work is great.

Your wise friends are right, do not even change a comma! 

Thank you for sharing your feelings.

IRANdokht


Azadeh Azad

Thank you

by Azadeh Azad on

Dearest Nazy & Orang: Thank you very much for your eloquent and educational comments.

I'd also like to thank "Honest Fan, "Sensitive Critic", "Kurush", "Setareh", "Opra", "Anonymous – 26", "Anonymousvenice", and "Mr. Correct"  for your feedbacks.

- Azadeh


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Truly Amazed

by Truly Amazed (not verified) on

Lady, you had your loss and so did we.

Because of the misdeeds of punks like your friend and misjudgments of "Pseudo-intellectuals" like yourself, we lost our country and 2 generations (so far) have gone to DUST!

Quit these stupid games ... The Fadaie movement and the so called Student's Confederation abroad were both Foreign Sponsored Entities.

30 years of misery, 30 years of loss is enough!


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Pasheemaanam

by Mr. Correct (not verified) on

Eshtebaahast... eshtebaahast... eshtebaah


Nazy Kaviani

Woven with the yarn of loss

by Nazy Kaviani on

When we live a full life, full of people and places and triumphs and failures, even if we would never attempt to write anything, chances are we have some interesting stories to tell. Someday we might tell those stories in an animated fashion to a circle of friends or family, or to bigger audiences who might find us and our stories interesting.

There are, however, some tales of sadness and of personal loss, things too difficult to recount and tell, which never find their way into the realm of things we share with others. Keeping them to ourselves does not mean that the stories lose their boldness or importance to us; some tales of grief and loss only become bolder and more poignant, gaining color and intensity with time, for our accumulated knowledge and experience keeps taking those stories and memories, polishing them and putting them into their proper perspective and context.

Your rememberance of your college friend seems to be just such a story. A memory woven with the yarn of sadness and loss, grief and questions unanswered at first and then very slowly and incrementally addressed in your mind; until it felt sufficiently ordered for it to come out and find itself on a medium other than your thought.

When a long-held tale of grief, or any other deep emotion for that matter, attempts to manifest itself into written word, in my very limited and humble experience, it does not wish to follow any format. The urgency and importance of the story, the memory, the sentiment itself is so great that it would not wait to be textured and organized and prioritized. It flows out for it has no other choice. That urgency itself is a reason why such stories always find their ways to our hearts.

In reading your tale of grief over the loss of your friend, and in Mehrnoush's appearing as a representative for many other young idealists such as her throughout the contempoary Iranian history, I could feel the urgency and importance of the tale you needed to tell.

Your tribute to your friend is beautiful, touching, and wise. Reading it, I could relate to the way your current day wisdom and experience was weaving itself through what little you knew then about your friend and her ideals and her activities, finally trying to make sense of it after all these years.

I am not a literature expert, so I don't know much about structures and forms of poetry. I can only relate to what I read on a very emotional level. Even if I were a literature expert, I doubt I would abandon connecting to a piece of writing, to get busy evaluating its form and format. I read this piece with my heart just the way it was written, by an aching and loving heart.

I loved the stanza which reads:

On the anniversary of your death,
I lay on your eyelids my hand's spell
and watch time reverse itself, life
flow back into you and you, lifting
out of the oblivion, fly backwards,
like a tumbler pigeon, onto the alley
where the alphabet of your landscape ended.

What I read in this part isn't just your wish to reverse time to bring your friend back to life to a young Azadeh, her friend. I read your wish to bring your young friend back to you, the mature and knowing Azadeh, to give her advice and to ask her all the right questions somebody should have asked her then, sending her off to continuation of her life with more wisdom and self-preservation.

That wish sits on the collective memory and hearts of our nation today.


Orang Gholikhani

Beautiful

by Orang Gholikhani on

Don’t touch it!

When something comes from heart will go directly to heart and you call it a poem. It is created with his soul and body, beauty and imperfection like a human being you cannot change it.

You don't do a poem for money as Cyrano said : Impossible, Monsieur; mon sang se coagule / En pensant qu'on y peut changer une virgule

 


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Azadeh you should send this

by Anonymousvenice (not verified) on

Azadeh this poem was beautiful i strongly suggest you send it in for the National Poetry competition the closing date is 31st October and 1st prize is £5000 ($10,000)


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azadeh

by Anonymous - 26 (not verified) on

This is a precious piece that you have written, but I must say that the commentators that have left earlier suggestions have a point.

I believe that it would perthaps be a good idea to rewrite the piece in a prose format, and republish it. For some reason, the present format does not do the work much justice.

I don't get the effect that I should when I read such a piece. Hope you consider it

Best


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Yaadash geraami baad

by setareh ..... (not verified) on

Thank you for this beautiful piece. Yaade Mehrnoush Ebrahimi and all those who lost their precious life for freedom geraami baad. They make us proud for having such brave people who were willing to give their life for the greater cause and at the same time make us ashamed for allowing such a brutal regime rulling our people for nearly 30 years.


Azadeh Azad

Youth's insensitivity

by Azadeh Azad on

Dear manesh,

We were young, insensitive and stupid; and I have simply expressed the *truth* of this aspect of our lives. I certainly do not expect *you* to feel *my* loss if you cannot understand that many people are immature and self-centred when young.

Azadeh


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An 'A' for effort, but ...

by Opra (not verified) on

I would have written it slightly differently. I believe that it would look much better if you changed the format into just prose

The way it is, is neither here nor there


Sima Banai

Azadeh

by Sima Banai on

Although this is a personal work for you with the attachments involved, nevertheless I tend to agree with what manesh has brought up regarding a lack of sensitivity.

You approach was rather a cavalier one. It's not always all or nothing. To give legitimacy to your grief and loss, you have to acknowledge others also.


manesh

In memory of Akbar agha!

by manesh on

Akbar agha was somebody's father, son or husband.  I didn't get what was so funny about cutting "it" up.  And you expect me to feel for YOUR loss?

 


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Hi Azadeh

by Hopmeira.Jav@ (not verified) on

It's been a while since I e-mailed you. Hope all is well NICE WORK .....If I can give you ONE SUGGESTION: Your Verses are just a bit too long .... Other than that, IMPRESSED .. E-Mail Me if you get a Chance BYE


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Azadeh Azad: The Ambush

by Kurush (not verified) on

Touching stanzas on being nothing. Recalls Holderlin's recurring motif 'the blessed':

With my own kind I lived and could grow for a day that was fleeting,
One by one they depart, gone from me into their sleep.
Yet you sleepers within me are wakeful, and in my related soul an image of each, fugitive, lingers and rests.
And more living there you live on where the god-given spirit's
Joy rejuvenates all, all who have aged, and the dead.
(The Departed/Holderlin)


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Dear Azadeh

by Sensitive Critic (not verified) on

This is a touching piece, but I wouldn't exactly call it a 'poem'.

The structure of the piece does not lend itself to either 'traditional' Modern poetry, or even some type of a 'prose poem'. I thought that perhaps it's some type of a 'Post Modern' piece, but I believe that it resembles more a hybrid between a 'regular prose' and 'prose poem'.

I don't know whether you categorized it as 'Poetry', as it says above, or Jahanshah just chose that for you. Nevertheless, a nice effort :)


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Beautifully written

by Honest Fan (not verified) on

What else can I say?
No more sacrificing precious life for any cause.


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