Poetry puzzle

Poetry puzzle
by Ari Siletz

Below is a fragment of one of our poetic masterpices translated into English by an unscrupulous  person. Can you guess the original Farsi poem?

The door of eve's first watch,

in the room like lonesome insight, the porcelain woman

inside her head frightening reflections catch faraway, she thinks:

"slaves to powerlessness who turn to wine the wall of the town chief

everyone of them to whom life has given the pluck of the whip's fire beneath the rubble

his disobedient lot is secret in the wall layer."

(Might win second prize as an original surreal English verse.)


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more from Ari Siletz

Your Iranian of the Day

by Souri on

Anahid jon,

You must send your article to JJ, and he will (if he ever decide that it is suitable :)) post it for you.

I already did it once, it passed. The second person, didn't pass.

 JJ didn't like him or what?

Never got any feedback about that second person.

Good luck.


The second answer is the right one

by Souri on

Ari jon,

Thanks for the Bronze medal. At least I won somthing because I work harder than this lazy Faramarz  :)

I believe the answer to the question about Nima, is the second one that you have mentioned:

2. This art form existed before but was never written down because it was not considered poetry?

I think I had read this somewhere, in the past.


PW aziz

by Souri on

I said this because you are great, very great in  poetry (and you know this well) but also that I came across the son of a great poet, who is also a member of IC. He sent me a few emails, but never revealed his ID at IC, so I still don't know what is his ID when he writes here. Maybe it's you?

Also about the hint: The term "Porcelain woman" sounded very familiar to me. I had a feeling that it was from Nima, but when I tried to find it first, I couldn't find anything. So I gave up. Then when Ari gave the hint and it became obvious that it was from Nima, I couldn't help but revealing my guess!

This was you who finished the job, finally!

As they say in Persian: Kar ro ke kard? ouni ke tamoumesh kard :)

Thank you.

Anahid Hojjati

thanks Ari for the silver, also a question and...

by Anahid Hojjati on

Does any one know how I can submit someone to be Iranian of the Day?

Ari, also regarding your question, I actually like explanation given in this wikipedia link


 under title:

Contemporary Persian literature

Ari Siletz

Souri, now you've really hurt my feelings

by Ari Siletz on

I thought my translation really communicated the soul of the poem :)

Ari Siletz

double post

by Ari Siletz on


Ari Siletz

Gold medal to persian westender

by Ari Siletz on

Toughest word to hide was "mordeh."   Silver to Anahid for hanging in there and soliciting clues. Very important process.   Souri is honored with a bronze for writing the first comment that mentions Nima.


Faramarz: I'm still cracking up at your verse. You are elected poetry club captain by 63% of the votes.

I'm still not clear what happened that our old tradition of rhyme and steady rhythm finally cracked. What inspired Nima to suddenly kick the habit? Was it:

1. Contact with the West?

2. This art form existed before but was never written down because it was not considered poetry?

3. Something else? PW may have some thoughts on that.

Anyone else. 



By the way apologies for the "sacrilege." Shamlou would probably have boxed my ears; Nima, I'm not sure.



حالا خودمونیم.....


زیادم تقصیر بدی ترجمه شعر نبوده ها!

تقصیر از نثر فارسی‌ این نیما جان عزیز بوده.

آخه این هم شد نثر فارسی‌؟

قربونش برم یا واقعاً فارسیش خیلی‌ بد بوده، یا اینکه خیلی‌ خیلی‌ جلو تر از زمان خودش (و ما هم) فکر میکرده،


persian westender

Credit goes to everyone

by persian westender on

...who helped to make Ari to give away some good hints...It was a collaborative work. 

Anahid Hojjati

Thanks Ari for this poetry puzzle.

by Anahid Hojjati on

For people who have not read Nima's poem before or have forgotten it, this puzzle helps them to remember the poem for a longer time.

persian westender

Souri jan

by persian westender on

hahah..nice imiginations!! you can go a head and hand me over the Nobel prize...but my hands are full with watermelons!

ba ba jan I am nobody!!



I Got It!

by Faramarz on

درنگاه اول من یک دل نه صد دل عاشق حوا شدم

تا کلاه گیس برداشت با زنی چینی در اتاقی خالی تنها شدم

از جلای سر طاسش در زیر نور ترسیدم

گریختم از دیوار، دویدم تا میکده به جناب سروان آویزان شدم

شلاق داغی خوردم در زیر آوار من ز او

عاقبت از دست حوا در لایه دیوار پنهان شدم


All the credit goes to PW

by Souri on

I have a feeling that not only he is a real poet, a Literary Critic, but also I think that he might be the son of one of our great poets and university professors, but he would never say the truth about that :)

Hameh ma ha ro sare kar gozashteh :)

More power to you PW,

And a big thank to our dear Ari

Anahid Hojjati

Bravo to Souri and Persian Westender

by Anahid Hojjati on

and I get the Bronze :) because I tried ?

persian westender

By the way

by persian westender on

Ari Jan!

You put us well on the work... :-)


Anahid Hojjati

Thanks Ari for the hint and as Souri noted

by Anahid Hojjati on

With this hint, it looks like answer is Nima. Their respective birth years are:

Iraj Mirza: 1874

Nima Yusij: 1896

Forough Farrokhzad: 1935

 Frankly, the translation is off, so it is hard to come up with the Farsi equivalent


Now, I found it :)

by Souri on

Moama cho hal gasht, asaan shavad

در نخستین ساعت شب

در نخستین ساعت شب، در اطاق چوبیش تنها، زن چینی
در سرش اندیشه های هولناکی دور می گیرد، می اندیشد:
« بردگان ناتوانایی که می سازند دیوار بزرگ شهر را
هر یکی زانان که در زیر آوار زخمه های آتش شلاق داده جان
مرده اش در لای دیوار است پنهان»
آنی از این دلگزا اندیشه ها راه خلاصی را نمی داند زن چینی
او، روانش خسته و رنجور مانده است
با روان خسته اش رنجور می خواند زن چینی،
در نخستین ساعت شب:
ـــ « در نخستین ساعت شب هر کس از بالای ایوانش چراغ اوست
همسر هر کس به خانه بازگردیده است الا همسر من
که ز من دور است و در کار است
زیر دیوار بزرگ شهر.»
در نخستین ساعت شب، دور از دیدار بسیار آشنا من نیز
در غم ناراحتی های کسانم؛
همچنانی کان زن چینی
بر زبان اندیشه های دلگزایی حرف می راند،
من سرودی آشنا را می کن در گوش
من دمی از فکر بهبودی تنها ماندگان در خانه هاشان نیستم خاموش
و سراسر هیکل دیوارها در پیش چشم التهاب من نمایانند نجلا!
در نخستین ساعت شب،
این چراغ رفته را خاموش تر کن
من به سوی رخنه های شهرهای روشنایی
راهبردم را به خوبی می شناسم، خوب می دانم
من خطوطی را که با ظلمت نوشته اند
وندر آن اندیشه ی دیوارسازان می دهد تصویر
دیرگاهی هست می خوانم.
در بطون عالم اعداد بیمر
در دل تاریکی بیمار
چند رفته سالهای دور و از هم فاصله جسته
که بزور دستهای ما به گرد ما
می روند این بی زبان دیوارها بالا.

persian westender

Nima Yooshij

by persian westender on

در نخستین ساعت شب

در نخستین ساعت شب، در اطاق چوبیش تنها، زن چینی
در سرش اندیشه های هولناکی دور می گیرد، می اندیشد:
" بردگان ناتوانایی که می سازند دیوار بزرگ شهر را
هر یکی زانان که در زیر آوار زخمه های آتش شلاق داده جان
مرده اش در لای دیوار است پنهان



I had a feeling that it was from Nima

by Souri on

But when I looked for that poem in Nima's collection of poems....couldn't find it.

Ari Siletz


by Ari Siletz on

The poet was born about 20 years after Iraj Mirza. He was on the edge (some say the inventor) of a radical transformation in how we did Poetry.

Anahid Hojjati

Ari, is the poet "Iraj Mirza"?

by Anahid Hojjati on


Ari Siletz

Anahid you are warm...

by Ari Siletz on

...regarding period. Forough and the puzzle poet were only one generation apart.

Anahid Hojjati

It is not this one but the first couple lines

by Anahid Hojjati on

of this translation have similarities to this part of Forough's poem but I don't think it is this one. 

در پشت شیشه های اتاق تو

آن شب نگاه سرد سیاهی داشت

دالان دیدگان تو در ظلمت

گوئی به عمق روح تو راهی داشت

Ari Siletz


by Ari Siletz on

As we all suffered as kids, vowels in Persian poems are open to interpretation unless explictly penned in by the poet. For example, Mei (wine) could have been mee (as in meesaazad) in the original.


The first line may go like this

by All-Iranians on

غروب اولین تماشا خانه است
دریچه ای به شب پرفسانه است


این هم اصل شعر:


سحر آمدم به کوی ات، به شکار رفته بودی
تو که سگ نبرده بودی، به چه کار رفته بودی

Mash Ghasem

Either Google or DM!

by Mash Ghasem on

" turn to wine the wall of the town chief" Vat eis dat? too difficult for me, I gave up.


حالا چرا " دیوار  کدخدا" را میخواد " شراب" کنه ؟ -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------   در "ادامه"  مشاعره  بالا با پتبا  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ یار شیرینم  به بالین  آمدو گفت خموش :
میخواهم برم کوه، شکار آهو،
تفنگ من کو مشتی جون، تفنگ من کو ؟

"و" بده.

Anahid Hojjati

Ari jan, this looks like a Google translation to me

by Anahid Hojjati on

I know you wrote that a person did this but it is like Google poetry translations.


Beautiful translation

by Monda on

I'll be back to read the original.