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July 9, 1999
The Iranian

The following poem was published in Iran daily (July 6, 1999) following Ahmad Shamlu's recovery from recent ailments. It is dedicated to his many admirers.

The first that I saw the world
I howled in exultation:
"I am -oh!-
that ultimate miracle
upon the small planet of water and verdure!"

Once I had lived in the world for a time
I throbbed in wonder:
to be the inheritor of that unimaginable inanity
that I saw and heard with mine eyes and ears!

After witnessing my milieu
a lament broke in my throat in disbelief:
look how terribly the razor sits at my head
in the hand of that in whom I had invested infinite faith.

And now that I leave behind this small house of impotence
there is no regret in me but a sigh:
an axe drowning in blood
upon the pedestal of belief without conviction and
a bloody rivulet gushing from the heights of faith

Ahmad Shamlu
March 3, 1999

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