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Poetry

Existence

By Ahmad Shamlou
Translated from Persian by Zara Houshmand
Iranian poet Ahmad Shamlou interrogates being.

If this is life—how low!
and I, how shamed, if I don’t hang my lifetime’s lamp
high on the dusty pine of this dead-end lane.

If this is life—how pure!
and I, how stained, if I don’t plant my faith like a mountain,
eternal memorial, to grace this ephemeral earth.

© Ahmad Shamlou. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2003 by Zara Houshmand. All rights reserved.

 

English

If this is life—how low!
and I, how shamed, if I don’t hang my lifetime’s lamp
high on the dusty pine of this dead-end lane.

If this is life—how pure!
and I, how stained, if I don’t plant my faith like a mountain,
eternal memorial, to grace this ephemeral earth.

© Ahmad Shamlou. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2003 by Zara Houshmand. All rights reserved.

 

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