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.