[Excerpt, Lines 1-43] And I am this
a woman alone
at the threshold of a cold season
beginning to understand the polluted existence of the earth
and the sky’s simple and sad despair
and the powerlessness of these cement hands.

Time passed.
Time passed and the cuckoo clock struck four.
Struck four.
Today is the winter solstice.
I know the seasons’ mystery
and understand each moment’s words.
The savior lies in his tomb
and the soil, the accepting soil,
represents peace.

Time passed and the clock struck four.

In the street the wind is blowing.
In the street the wind is blowing
and I am thinking about the flowers mating
about buds on thin anemic legs
and this exhausted, tubercular time.
And a man
is passing by the soaked trees, the man
whose threads of blue veins like dead snakes
have crawled up the two sides of his throat and repeat
into his panicked temple the blood-stained syllable.
“Hello!”
“Hello!”
And I am thinking about the flowers mating.

At the threshold of a cold season
among the mirrors gathered in mourning
and the huddled experiences, grieving and pale,
and in this sunset pregnant by the knowledge of silence
how can one tell that person passing by—
patient,
heavy,
bewildered—
to stop?
How can one tell that man he is not alive, that he has never lived?

In the street the wind is blowing
and the isolated crows of solitude
circle in the old gardens of apathy
and the ladder,
how stubby it is.


Published in:
Mantis, Vol. 12 (2014). Stanford University, Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages. A translation of Forough Farrokhzad’s late long poem, in its entirety, with the Persian text en face.