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Poetry in Translation, (CCXCI), Simin BEHBAHANI (1927-2014), IRAN: “My Country, I Will Build You Again”, “Țara mea, te voi reclădi”

August 29th, 2014 · No Comments · PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Poetry in Translation, (CCXCI), Simin BEHBAHANI (1927-2014), IRAN: “My Country, I Will Build You Again”, “Țara mea, te voi reclădi”

Simin Behbahani
(1927 – 2014, Iran)

My Country, I Will Build You Again

My country, I will build you again,
If need be, with bricks made from my life.
I will build columns to support your roof,
If need be, with my bones.
I will inhale again the perfume of flowers
Favored by your youth.
I will wash again the blood off your body
With torrents of my tears.

Once more, the darkness will leave this house.
I will paint my poems blue with the colour of our sky.
The resurrector of “old bones” will grant me in his bounty
a mountains splendour in his testing grounds.
Old I may be, but given the chance, I will learn.
I will begin a second youth alongside my progeny.
I will recite the Hadith of love and country
With such fervour as to make each word bear life.

There still burns a fire in my breast
to keep undiminished the warmth of kinship
I feel for my people.
Once more you will grant me strength,
though my poems have settled in blood.
Once more I will build you with my life,
though it be beyond my means.

Simin Behbahani
(1927 – 2014, Iran)

Țara mea, te voi reclădi

Țara mea, te voi reclădi,
Dacă e nevoie, din cărămizi făcute chiar din viața mea.
Voi înalța coloane pentru a-ți sprijini acoperișul,
dacă e nevoie, chiar din oasele mele.
Voi respira din nou parfumul florilor tale
atât de prețuit de tinerii tăi.
Voi spăla din nou corpul tău, sângerând,
cu torente de lacrimi.
Din nou, întunericul va părăsi această casă.
Voi picta versurile mele în albastru – culoarea cerului nostru.
Domnul îmi va reda vlaga oaselor, și, în milostenia sa,
în timpurile astea restriște, îmi va da Măreția munților.
Bătrân poate sunt, dar cu voia Domnului, voi învăța.
Voi reîncepe o tinerețe nouă, alături de copiii mei.
Voi recita Psalmul Tău de dragoste de țară
cu atâta patimă, încât fiecare cuvânt va căpăta viață.
O flacără mai arde încă în pieptul meu
ca să păstreze neștirbită căldura de rudenie
ce o simt pentru oamenii mei.
Imi vei reda, din nou, puterea,
deși versurile mele au pătruns în sânge.
Din nou te voi reclădi cu viața mea,
deși va fi peste puterile mele.

Rendered in Romanian by Constantin ROMAN
© 2014 Copyright Constantin ROMAN, London

SHORT BIO: Simin Behbahani started writing poetry at twelve and published her first poem at the age of fourteen. She used the “Char Pareh” style of Nima Yooshij and subsequently turned to ghazal. Behbahani contributed to a historic development by adding theatrical subjects and daily events and conversations to poetry using the ghazal style of poetry. She has expanded the range of the traditional Persian verse forms and has produced some of the most significant works of the Persian literature in the 20th century.
She was President of The Iranian Writers’ Association and was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1999 and 2002.
In early March 2010 she could not leave the country due to official prohibition. As she was about to board a plane to Paris, police detained her and interrogated her “all night long”. She was released but without her passport. Her English translator (Farzaneh Milani) expressed surprise at the arrest and detention as Behbahani was then 82 and nearly blind. “We all thought that she was untouchable.”

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