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Seda: Voices of Iran

Fereydoon Moshiri


Fereydoon Moshiri was born in September 1926 in the capital city of Tehran, Iran. His family was known to have a legacy of poetry and whereas his father held administrative posts his school years were divided between Tehran and Mashhad. 

With the outbreak of the World War II the family moved to Tehran and the young Moshiri continued his education in Dar-ol Fonoon and then in Adib high school. Throughout these years his first poems appeared in progressive journals such as Iran-e-Ma. This was the beginning of a career in literary journalism that continued for more than thirty years. In 1946 Moshiri joined the Iranian department of Telecommunication where he served till retirement. In 1954 Moshiri married Eghbal Akhavan, then a student painting at Tehran University. 

Before he was a poet, Fereydoon Moshiri was a journalist and this occupation helped him to get acquainted with the influential scholar of Persian language and literature such as Ala'me Dehkhoda, Dr. Moein and Ibrahim Pourdavoud. 

Moshiri started poetry with love and romance when he was a young boy. He published his volume of poetry titled Teshne-ye Toofan(Thirsty for the Storm) in the spring of 1955 in Tehran. 

The way Moshiri was taken is the final objective of the originators of the Free Style and poetry. It means that he was accepted to use rhymes in a suitable and rational manner and combine it with a new look at Nature, Things and Persons around, along with a delicate feeling and sensation, to present his poems with a characterized feature. 

In 1961, a collection of his poems was under Abr (Cloud) published, which was later reprinted for several times under the title Abr-o Koocheh  (Cloud and The Alley) as a request by his publisher. Reflections of Man's feeling towards his life and death, love and destiny, social environment and the whole universe have been the main theme for the selected poems of Bahar ra baavar kon (Believe The Spring) published in 1967. 

Az Khaamooshi (Of Silence) published in 1978; the book covers human's common pains and sufferings in the 20th century. Peace and friendship, love and serving mankind as a whole have been the foundation of Moshiri's poetry in his next book called Aah Baraan  (Oh, The Rain) published in 1988, and his last published work, Ta Sobh-e Tobnak-e Ahura'i (Until the Bright Ahuric Dawn) in 2001. 

Moshiri is best known as conciliator of classical Persian poetry at one side with the New Poetry initiated by Nima Yooshij at the other side. One of the major contributions of Moshiri's poetry, according to some observers, is the broadening of the social and geographical scope of modern Persian literature.

Let us be humans

A dove was nipping seeds,
A weeping willow was dancing,
A sparrow was building a nest,
The Sun was watching.

From atop the aspen trees, dawn was returning.
With swallow's merriment, daytime was beginning.

Nature's musicians freely lay on this wide-open grass,
Making music in Dastan and Nava' modes.

The meadow was decorated like butterfly wings.
The colorful butterfly, flew here and there, Spring.

I've witnessed that in every particle of matter
There's indeed someone's loving soul, someone's bright breath!

This pure and caring soul is blown into all.
This bright breeze pours out of earth's heart
And blows on all.

If eyes are to both the visible and invisible keen,
They would see the commotion within this scene.

Sun, like a mothcr, full of kindness, gleams.
Down the sky's pure mirror, light streams.

Earth's heart beats to the same tune as Time.
Soundwaves of music of growth! 0, what joyful chime!

Clouds arrive, full of giving and self-sacrifice.
Bestow their necklaces to the fields of rice!

So that grass may sing refreshed, river cries.
To turn sap into rosewater, water tries!

Soil toils to let seeds sprout!
Wind dances so buds may sing aloud!

Bird sings so that rock is not alone,
Sun strives to make amber from the stone!

From afar, grapevine steals kisses from the sun, in hundreds.
So that sheaves of grapes may grow, in hundreds!

Cedar helps the newly rising morning glory
Climb up her branches.

Blissful are those who worship sun and earth

For there's only love and kindness, no hostilities, no hatred.
Suddenly, tears well up in my eyes
I choke in my burning chest, ah!

But why then can we not be this way?
Come to our senses and wish to be humans.


The Secret

From the realm of sea
With maternal love
Rushed to sandy shores,

Round the sand she turned
Washed away the gloom
Off its dusty face,

Of the sand dwellers,
I am not aware,
What the sandy shore
Told the tender wave.
That to kill herself,
Time and time again
Hit her head against
Rock and stone and sand,


In That Fair World

May I be allowed,
To behold the hue of that fresh blossom
As I stand at the base of this wall?

And, through this bloody, thorny fence,
This barbed wire,
May I drink a sip of spring water?

May I be allowed "Outside, In Front of the Door"
And to regain my strength,
Rest by this tree, may I?

Or, must I pass through this road,
A stranger, now and always,
Swallow centuries of "YOU MAY NOT"
Like a dagger piercing my patient throat?

In the shadow land of this vast cerulean tent,
It would have been fair,
If trees, land, water or sunshine,
Did not belong to anyone!
Or, better yet,
Belonged to all.

A world of friends, all familiar,
One big house, this globe, and its dwellers,
One family,
Bond by fibers of their souls!

Together, for one another,
With helpful hands,
Keeping pace.

In that fair world,
Green meadows have the horizon of border!
Flower gardens have walls of breeze!

With each blooming sprout,
The surging of light,
The rapture of love.
In every song,
The warmth of a caress,
The tune of compassion.
Gardeners' smiles shine like lanterns,
Farmers' chants soar to heavens!

We toil together.
Hearts, abundant with joy of living,
Faces, fresh as gardens of miniature roses,
Eyes, teeming with love!

We sow love like seeds in soil.
We compose poetry like buds on trees!

We, and everyone alike,
Full of music, Free of bonds,

My Best of Best

Yellow, azure, and purple,
Green, blue, and violet,
I have sat among violets,
Year upon year,
Morning, early. 

By the fountain of dawn-
Their heads nestled on each other's shoulders,
Their wet hair in the hands of the wind,
Their faces concealed in shadow of modesty,
Colors bloomed in the limpid warmth of perfumes.
There flows from their blissful silence
The best of songs,
The best of hymns!

On the velvet glances of the violets
I am borne, lighter than a breeze,
From the garden's bed of violets
To the violet beds of your eyes
Where, side by side, have grown
Yellow and azure and purple,
Green and blue and violet,
In the same modest silence,
Among the same songs and scents.
The best of all that was and is,
The best of all that was and is.

In the violet garden of your eyes
I have trailed through paradise,
I have reached the best of spring times.

O, your sorrow, the companion of my life's best hours!
The moments of my being are filled with you
All day,
All night,
All week,
All month,
In my chambers, in the alley, on the road,
In air, trees, grass, water, soil
In the entangled lines of a book
In the azure realm of sleep!

O, your departure, the best excuse for crying!
without you, I have come to the summit of regret.

O, your caress, the best hope for living!
By your side, I have passed the summit of ineffable pleasure.

In the violet garden of your eyes,
Yellow and azure and purple leaves,
Green and blue and violet perfumes,
Compose unheard melodies,
Better than all songs and tunes.

On the delicate velvet of your cheeks,
The colorful buds the humble-plant,
Open fresh leaf upon leaf
Better than all colors and secrets!

O, my darling, how good, how good you are!
How your sweet name intoxicates me,
Better far than wine,
better than purest poetry!
Your name is the best hymn for living,
Yet, in the divine privacy of my imagination,
I call you by this name my best of best,
"My Best of Best"!

translations by Franak Moshiri


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