Two poems


by Majid Naficy

Listen to Majid Naficy reading these poems in Persian

Mosaddegh at the Hague

If you go to the Netherlands

Visit The Hague court of Justice.

On a rainy night

Linger at its closed gate

And look through the iron rods:

There, in that lighted building

Across the rain-laden trees,

An old man stood

More than half a century ago.

He came from our homeland

To speak out against the oil cartels

Before the whole world.

He did not hold anyone hostage

And took only a few steps

To reach the podium.

Listen, listen

Even years after that bloody August (1)

One can still hear his voice.

He speaks in beautiful French:

"Mesdames et Messieurs!

Ladies and Gentlemen!"

September 24, 2005

1. On August 19, 1953 Mohammad Mosaddegh (1882-1967), the democratically-elected  Iranian Prime Minister, was overthrown in a coup d'etat orchestrated by the American and British intelligence services, in collaboration with Kashani, a fundamentalist clergy and Zahedi, a Nazi-sympathizer general. They gave absolute power to the Shah who had fled the country a few days earlier. In 1951, Mosaddegh led the movement for nationalization of the Iranian oil industry, which was under the control of the British. In June 1952, he traveled to the Hague to defend Iran's case in the International Court of Justice.

- - - - -

I Do Not Want You, Petroleum

This poem was first published in Persian in Sorrow of the Border (anduh-e marz) San Diego, 1989, and then in English in Muddy Shoes Beyond Baroque Books, 1999, as well as Poets Against the War edited by Sam Hamill Nation Books 2003.

I don't want you, petroleum!

For a long time,

I thought that you burnt for me.

Now I see that I am burning for you.

I'm not saying that it's not pleasant

Sitting near a kerosine heater

And enjoying the falling snow.

Or listening to the working water pumps

In an empty plain.

And yet, I cannot believe you,

Seven-headed dragon!

Fire still spews forth from your mouth

To the soul of my homeland.

In your school I learned servitude,

So that the khan of the tribe

Could send his son to London.

The Imperial Army in Mohammara

Forced me to abandon

The dream of a "House of Justice".

On the street my blood was shed,

It turned into ink

For the pens which wrote

The new contracts of slavery.

The grand gates of falsehood

Opened with your keys.

Today the promised Messiah rides

On you, donkey of the Antichrist.

You raised this state to the heavenly throne

And polished its boots to a sheen.

You raised its seven-headed club

And whenever I tried to pull it down

You reinforced its shaky body

With your sturdy beams.

No! I don't want!

I don't want you, petroleum!

Oh, bloody stream!

For a long time,

I thought you gave me blood.

Now I see, you made me bleed.

May 18, 1987


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متمم جان ممنون از لطفت


متمم جان ممنون از لطفت 

چون اینجا در محضر استاد نفیسی هستیم اجازه میخواهم در پاسخ شما از حافظ نقل کنم که گفت:

بی‌ مزد بود و منت هر خدمتی که کردم

یارب مباد کس را مخدوم بی‌ عنایت

حالا شعر ما چرا پاک شد؟ ما که جسارتی نکردیم فقط به سبک استاد چند خطی‌ نوشتیم. البته یادم رفته بود که حریم بعضی‌ از اساتید در این سایت وزین مقدسه مثل استاد نفیسی و استاد دباشی. حالا خدا رو شکر خودمون پاک نشدیم. خدایا شکرت‌!


Horrible translation

by MRX on

what a horrible translation of the poet what ever it is.
Not to discreet Mosadegh's effort to nationalize Iranian oli but according to Mr. Amini who is a researcher in Iranian affiars (what ever that means) and big fan of Mossadegh (he said it not me), Mossadegh had no choice but to nationalize the oil, becuase the parlimant voted for nationalization. So in that context he was mearly a delivery boy!

it is also interesting that in 2012 with so much technology and progress available to every one, you still need compaines like haliberton, shevron, exxon, BP you name it to work with to explore and distribute oil. one wonders in early 1950's with bulk of a population being so illietrate how they would have managed to run things. Another words talk is cheap and action is all that matters.

First Amendment


by First Amendment on

"Do the Pahlavis (I dropped my usual f word, out of respect for his/her attachment to them) really deserve Anglo's talent and loyalty?"..........I ask myself, before  taking another sip of my coffee............

And if my comment is confusing you, please contact the site's admin and ask for the revival of her removed comment.


I love ....

by jasonrobardas on

hearing Mr.Naficy reading his poetry..His own voice gives it more charm and authenticity.......His lovely Isfahani accent makes it even more pleasant ................