Seda: Voices of Iran

Seda: Voices of Iran

    
      Iranian women warriors

It is only our voice that shall remain of us.

Tanha Sedast ke meemanad.

The name we have chosen for our curriculum on Iran is Seda.   In Farsi, it means both voice and sound. 

The contemporary Iranian poet  Forough Farrokhzad , translated here by Sholeh Wolpe, offers us insight into the importance of voice, reflection and commitment to continue to work for the future.

 
Only Voice Remains
 
Forugh Farrokhzad

Why should I stop, why?

Birds have gone to seek their blue way.
The horizon is horizontal,
movement vertical—a gushing geyser.
Bright stars spin as far as the eye can see.

The Earth repeats itself in space, air tunnels
become connecting canals and day changes
to an entity so vast it cannot be stuffed
into the narrow imaginations of the newspaper worms.

Why should I stop?

The path meanders among life’s tiny veins
and the climate of the moon’s womb will annihilate
the cancerous cells, and in the chemical aura of after-dawn
there will remain only voice--
                               voice seeping into time.

Why should I stop?

What is a swamp but a spawning ground
for corruption’s vermin?
Swelled corpses pen the morgue’s thoughts,
the cad hides his yellowness in the dark,
and the cockroach
… ah when the cockroach harangues,
                                                       
why should I stop?
 
Printer’s lead letters line up in vain.
Lead letters in league cannot salvage petty thoughts.
My essence is of trees; breathing stale air depresses me.
A bird long dead counseled me to remember flight.
Fusion creates the greatest force—
fusion with the sun’s luminescent soul,
comprehension flooding with light.
Windmills eventually warp and rot.
 
Why should I stop?
 
I hold to my breasts sheaves of unripe wheat
and give them milk.
Voice, voice, only voice.
The water’s voice, its wish to flow,
the starlight’s voice pouring upon the earth’s female form,
the voice of the egg in the womb congealing into sense,
the clotting together of love’s minds.
 
Voice, voice, voice, only voice remains.
In a world of runts,
measurements orbit around zero.
 
Why must I stop?
 
The four elements alone rule me;
my heart’s charter cannot be drafted
by the provincial government of the blind.
What have I to do with the long feral howls
of the beasts’ genitals?
What have I to do with the slow progress
of a maggot through flesh?
It’s the flowers’ bloodstained history that has committed me to life,
the flowers’ bloodstained history, you hear?

Translation: Sholeh Wolpe

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