The Fish, By Ahmad Shamloo

Ahmad Shamloo
Ahmad Shamloo

About the poet:

Shamlou (Persian: احمد شاملو‎‎, Ahmad Šāmlū Persian pronunciation: [æhˈmæd(-e) ʃɒːmˈluː], also known under his pen name A. Bamdad (Persian: ا. بامداد‎‎)) (December 12, 1925 – July 23, 2000) was an Iranian poet, writer, and journalist. Shamlou was arguably the most influential poet of modern Iran.[2] 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.

Poem Lyric:

Translated from the Persian by Sheida Dayani

Never has been my heart,

I think,

So crimson and warm:

At the worst seconds

Of this deadly night,

I feel,

Thousands of founts of sun

Spout with certitude

in my heart.

In every corner

Of this salt-desert of despair,

Thousands of vivacious woods,

I feel,

Grow sudden out of ground.

You! My lost certitude!

You runaway fish!

Slipping in and out

Of lakes of mirror!

A filtering pond am I;

Now with the sorcery of love,

Seek a way towards I

From the lakes of mirror!

Never has been my hand,

I think,

This gay and grand:

With a waterfall of crimson tear

in my eye

I feel,

Breathes a dusk-less sun of an anthem.

In every vein of mine

With every beat of my heart,

I feel,

Chimes now the awakening of a caravan.

She entered through the door one night

Nude as the water’s soul;

Her breasts: two fish,

Hands, holding a mirror,

Her hair: moss-smelling,

Twisted as moss.

At the threshold of despair,

Cried I:

“My found certitude!

Of you,

I will not let go of you.”

Poem Lyric (Persian):

من فكر می كنم هرگز نبوده قلب من این گونه گرم و سرخ:

احساس می كنم در بدترین دقایق این شام مرگ زای

چندین هزار چشمه خورشید در دلم

 می جوشد از یقین؛

احساس می كنم

 در هر كنار و گوشه این شوره زار یاس

چندین هزار جنگل شاداب ناگهان می روید از زمین.

*** آه ای یقین گمشده،

ای ماهی گریز

در بركه های آینه لغزیده تو به تو!

 من آبگیر صافیم، اینك! به سحر عشق؛

از بركه های آینه راهی به من بجو!


من فكر می كنم هرگز نبوده دست من این سان بزرگ و شاد:

 احساس می كنم

 در چشم من به آبشر اشك سرخگون

 خورشید بی غروب سرودی كشد نفس؛

احساس می كنم

 در هر رگم به تپش قلب من كنون

 بیدار باش قافله ئی می زند جرس.


آمد شبی برهنه ام از در چو روح آب

در سینه اش دو ماهی و در دستش آینه

گیسوی خیس او خزه بو، چون خزه به هم

من بانگ بر گشیدم از آستان یاس:

“- آه ای یقین یافته، بازت نمی نهم!”

احمد شاملو

Reciting This Poem by Ahmad Shamlou(Persian):

Poem Reading:

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