Mo H Saidi
www.mhsaidi.com

Favorite Poems

In This Blind Alley
by Ahmad Shamloo
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They smell your breath.
You better not have said, "I love you."
They smell your heart.
These are strange times, darling...

And they flog love
at the roadblock.
We had better hide love in the closet...

In this crooked dead end and twisting chill,
they feed the fire
with the kindling of song and poetry.
Do not risk a thought.
These are strange times, darling...

He who knocks on the door at midnight
has come to kill the light.
We had better hide light in the closet...

Those there are butchers
stationed at the crossroads
with bloody clubs and cleavers.
These are strange times, darling...

And they excise smiles from lips
and songs from mouths.
We had better hide joy in the closet...

Canaries barbecued
on a fire of lilies and jasmine,
these are strange times, darling...

Satan drunk with victory
sits at our funeral feast.
We had better hide God in the closet.

Ahmad Shamloo
December 12, 1925 – July 24, 2000

Also known under his pen name A. Bamdad was a Persian poet, writer, and journalist. Shamlou was arguably the most influential poet of modernIran. His initial poetry was influenced by and in the tradition of Nima Youshij. Shamlou's poetry is complex, yet his imagery, which contributes significantly to the intensity of his poems, is simple. As the base, he uses the traditional imagery familiar to his Iranian audience through the works of Persian masters like Hafiz and Omar Khayyám. For infrastructure and impact, he uses a kind of everyday imagery in which personified oxymoronic elements are spiked with an unreal combination of the abstract and the concrete thus far unprecedented in Persian poetry, which distressed some of the admirers of more traditional poetry. Shamlou has translated extensively from French to Persian and his own works are also translated into a number of languages. He has also written a number of plays, edited the works of major classical Persian poets, especially Hafiz. His thirteen-volume Ketab-e Koucheh (The Book of Alley) is a major contribution in understanding the Iranian folklore beliefs and language. He also wrote fiction and Screenplays, contributing to children’s literature, and journalism.
Uploaded from the NY Times Magazine: 29 Nov 2015

Rumi

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī

30 September 1207 – 17 December 1273

Adapted from Wikipedia: 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumi


The Persian poet, Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī known widely in the Middle East as Mawlawī and more popularly in the English-speaking world simply as Rumi was a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic. Rumi's importance is considered to transcend national and ethnic borders. IraniansTurksAfghansTajiks, and other Central Asian Muslims as well as the Muslims of South Asia have greatly appreciated his spiritual legacy in the past seven centuries. is poems have been widely translated into many of the world's languages and transposed into various formats. He has been described as the "most popular poet in America" and the "best selling poet in the US". Rumi's works are written in Persian and his Mathnawi remains one of the purest literary glories of Persia, and one of the crowning glories of the Persian language.  His poetry has influenced Persian literature as well as TurkishPunjabiUrdu and some other Iranian, Turkic and Indic languages written in Perso-Arabic script e.g. PashtoOttoman TurkishChagatai and Sindhi.

Like This

From ‘The Essential Rumi’, Translations 
by Coleman Barks with John Moyne


If anyone asks you
how the perfect satisfaction
of all our sexual wanting
will look, lift your face
and say,


Like this.


When someone mentions the gracefulness
of the nightsky, climb up on the roof
and dance and say,


Like this.


If anyone wants to know what "spirit" is,
or what "God’s fragrance" means,
lean your head toward him or her.
Keep your face there close.


Like this.

When someone quotes the old poetic image
about clouds gradually uncovering the moon,
slowly loosen knot by knot the strings
of your robe.


Like this.

If anyone wonders how Jesus raised the dead,
don’t try to explain the miracle.
Kiss me on the lips.


Like this. Like this.


When someone asks what it means
to "die for love," point
here.


If someone asks how tall I am, frown
and measure with your fingers the space
between the creases on your forehead.


This tall.


The soul sometimes leaves the body, the returns.
When someone doesn’t believe that,
walk back into my house.


Like this.


When lovers moan,
they’re telling our story.


Like this.


I am a sky where spirits live.
Stare into this deepening blue,
while the breeze says a secret.


Like this.


When someone asks what there is to do,
light the candle in his hand.


Like this.


How did Joseph’s scent come to Jacob?


Huuuuu.


How did Jacob’s sight return?


Huuuu.


A little wind cleans the eyes.


Like this.


When Shams comes back from Tabriz,
he’ll put just his head around the edge
of the door to surprise us


Like this.