Letter From Prison, My Best Memories, by Shabnam Madadzadeh (شبنم مددزاده)


Letter From Prison, My Best Memories, by Shabnam Madadzadeh (شبنم مددزاده)
by Multiple Personality Disorder

Shabnam Madadzadeh (شبنم مددزاده) was arrested on February 19, 2009 along with her brother Farzad Madadzadeh.  During her arrest, Shabnam was put under severe psychological and physical torture.  On February 9, 2010, Shabnam and her brother were convicted of acting against national security and “enmity against God” at Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court under Judge Moghiseh.  They were sentenced to 5 years exile in Rajai Shahr prison located in the city of Karaj.  On June 2, 2010, her 5 year sentence was upheld in the appeals court despite the fact that she did not have an attorney.  On October 8, 2010, Shabnam went on a hunger strike in support of her imprisoned lawyers, Mohammad Ooliyayifard and Nasrin Sotoudeh, who were on hunger strike also.

The following in my English poetic adaptation of the first part of a letter (full text) she has written from Evin Prison.

My Best Memories

Once again it's on it's way, season's renewed pact,
on the windows, night's black curtain has closed path of light,  
eying its evil eyes, I drag with it my time's blight.
In this prison, night's perpetual darkness is a matter of fact.

Silence is well acquainted with our voice,
blazing cruelty swallows every creature, every night,  
my eyes no longer see its dark cloak, devoid of any choice,
yet I see stars shinning in the heart of the night.

My heart is filled with tumult, yet my eyes with delight,
as if my eyes are in love with shinning stars of the night.
Will you stay here, to chronicle passing of time, and place?
Will the time move onward fast, or lose its pace?

Daylight is a battered ark on the blackness of the night,
lives have been swallowed by dark of the night,
scent of memories past is a heartfelt treat, 
sound of chains' holler is our lives' rhythmic beat.

Grab the hands of the clock,
or else, get grabbed in the clock's whirlwind lock,
forever in war with the grueling day,
pushing time forward, day after day.

And such is how burden of life feels heavier, day after day,
on top of the weight on our shoulder everyday,
along this rocky road, we must take it to the top,
we must turn our lives into a lantern and take it to the top.

In this desolate place, dejected from earth's turns, 
in total silence,
in a distance of a week away from current events, 
here we stay frightfully in the past, without any sense.

I leaf through calendar of the days,
pages that have joined the past show the time has passed,
with one move turning over all the pages of the days, 
these are not the pages of time that in front of my eyes have passed.

These are the burdens of the year that has passed,
painful events and trends,
of sufferings,
of unshed tears,
of disallowed mournful deaths,
of waits and regrets...

I look at the calendar,
last days of summer,
brought to its end by the month of Shahrivar,
it brings to my heart an unsettling fervor.

Smell of the month of Mehr, and beginning of the Fall,
shoes, bags, school uniforms, and all,
alleys, dusty and coy,
with sound of footsteps taking color of joy.

Smell of the month of Mehr, and the joy of walking to school,
the joy of walking on the yellow leaves of the road to school,
the joy of getting "The Best",
at the bottom of the Dictation test,

Smell of the month of Mehr on the way to school,
my tantrums and peace with Farzad on the way to school,
my sweetest memory, smell of the month of Mehr,
O!  My sweet memories and smell of the month of Mehr!


Original letter by Shabnam Madadzadeh (شبنم مددزاده) from Evin Prison (زندان اوین)

مهر ١٣٩٠

September 2011


شیرین‌ترین خاطره‌ام

می‌رسد اینک ز راه موسم تجدید عهد
پرده سیاه شب راه نور را بر پنجره‌ها بسته است.
چشم در چشمان ظلمانی‌اش زمان را با خود می¬کشم.
اینجا همیشه شب است.

صدا با سکوت آشناست و ظلمی مشتعل هر جنبنده‌ای را به کام کشیده
چشمانم دیگر پوستین تاریک‌اش را نمی‌بیند،
ستاره‌هایی در دل شب می‌درخشند،

چشمانم سویی می‌گیرد و دلم آشوبی،
گویی چشمانم به ستارگان شب دلباخته‌اند…
اینجا برای توصیف مکان و زمان می‌مانی؟
زمان دیر می‌گذرد یا زود؟

روز زورق شکسته‌ایست بر سیاهی شب،
ظلمتی وجودها را بلعیده و عطر خاطرات و یادها رایحه‌ی دلنشین دلهاست،
ناله‌های زنجیرها ضرب آهنگ زندگیست،

اگر عقربه‌های ساعت را خود در دست نگیری در گرد‌بادشان گیر می‌کنی،
همواره با روزگار فرساینده در جنگی،
زمان را باید خود پیش برانی و اینگونه است که مسئولیت‌ات سنگین می‌شود،

همراه با باری که بر شانه‌هایت گذارده شده تا در این مسیر پر سنگلاخ با خود ببری تا قله‌ها،
عمرت را هم باید فانوسی کنی در بلندای این وادی،

در مکانی دورافتاده و مطرود از گردش از زمین،
در بی‌خبری محض،
با فاصله‌ی یک هفته‌ای از تمام جریانات.
اینجا به طور هراس‌انگیزی در گذشته می‌مانی.

تقویم روز را ورق می‌زنم.
برگه‌هایی به تاریخ پیوسته نشان از گذشت زمان دارد،
با یک حرکت تمام برگه‌ها را ورق می‌زنم،
برگه‌های تقویم نیست که از جلوی چشمانم می‌گذرد،

سنگینی یک سالی است که پشت سر گذاردم.
اتفاقات و جریانات دردناک،
خون دل خوردن‌ها،
اشک‌های جاری نشده،
عزاداری‌های اجازه داده نشده،
حسرت‌ها و انتظارها…

تاریخ روز را نگاه می‌کنم،
روزهای آخر تابستان است که شهریور مسئولیت وداعش را بر عهده دارد.
در دلم شوری به پا می‌شود.
شروع پاییز،
بوی ماه مهر،
کیف و کفش و لباس مدرسه،
کوچه‌های خاکی خاموش که با صدای قدم‌های ما رنگ شادی می‌گرفت.
بوی ماه مهر و لذت قدم روی برگ‌های زرد جاده‌ی مدرسه،

لذت نشستن مهرهای صد آفرین زیر پای دیکته،
بوی ماه مهر؛
قهر و آشتی‌های من و فرزاد سر راه مدرسه،
بوی ماه مهر و شیرین‌ترین خاطره‌ام،

مهر ١٣٩٠


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Multiple Personality Disorder

Thank you,

by Multiple Personality Disorder on

Hi Yolanda,

Thank you for your comment.  I went ahead and added the part of the letter that used for English adaptation to my blog, after it was dropped from the featured list, so it could be more readily searchable.

I also hope all political prisoners would be freed soon.



by yolanda on

 Hi! MPD,

     Thank you for translating this lady's letter from prison! She is Azeri and around 24 years old. She wrote to Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur. Unfortunately, IRI bans the guy from entering the country and doing anything. I have better odds entering Iran than this guy!

What makes me really upset is that AN told Charlie Rose that there is no political prisoners in Iran....it was in the 1st 3 minutes of the interview...another thing is that American hikers heard Iranian prisoners screaming, but they could not help them out...I truly hope the released hikers can raise awareness of Iranian prisoners' plight........you have translated and versified many prisoners' letters.....Thank you for giving political prisoners a voice to vent their pain and suffering. Thank you for your patriotic act!

The 1st half of the poem, the reality, is so sad! The 2nd half of the poem, the memory, is so sweet and memorable!

I hope she can be released with other politcal prisoners very soon!