“But the blooming words declare the storm with bravery”: Five 21st-century Iranian women poets

“A Rush”  by Sylvana Salmanpour

With soft words

I draw a childhood dream

on a nascent memory.

I write in peace

so that the silky dream of the notebook

will not tear apart.

But the blooming words declare

the storm with bravery.

“Those Days”  by Fereshteh Sari

Those days


was my room

and wherever I felt unsafe

I gravitated into its eternal sanctuary.

These days

there aren’t any rooms

that can harbour me against the crowd

and behind every window

inside and outside every room

a two-faced clown sneers.

“The Stone I become”  by Nasrin Ranjbar Irani

I do not grow or nurture

the stone, I become

the stone

I mask the spring’s mouth

I do not cry or distress others

The Rock, I become

The Rock

that intrudes into the peaceful pond

Neither do I laugh nor do I want others to laugh

The stone, I become

the stone and I shatter the mirrors.

To poetry

I vow, to joy, to dew,

that I will be a stone again

an undeniable slash across the brow

But before these all

I want to be

the glass

the flame

the mirror

Ah!  A crystal ball

and the spring rain…

Once and Only Once

To be in love, in love, in love

in this lifetime,

Once and Only Once!

“Neither a Satellite nor the Internet”  by Pegah Ahmadi

A poem ambles across the wall

forever and a day

In the heart of the kitchen it spins,

spins on the porch

And when it returns

It utters:

Neither a Satellite nor the Internet

I am not the universal Media

Nothing but a new leaf on this arid plant

Or the thought of a rendezvous

Makes me rejoice

I am only a poem to brush your hair

A poem to pass through you!

“A Day without You”  by Nasrin Behjati

And I commenced my day

Without you or your name

I spilled you out of my tea

Out of my breakfast

From the kitchen

And I didn’t nurture the plants…

so that I could witness your rage,

Your name from autumn

The autumn from the field

And the field from the poems,  I


I heaved you out of my memories and

the seasons and I walked to the mirror

To cut short the locks you loved so,

Alas!   In the mirror a sunflower reflected

Your unkind frame,

Outlined my face forevermore,

I had become you!


The poems featured here from five Iranian women poets were translated

from Persian (Farsi) into English by Sheema Kalbasi.

Visit her literary site:  http://www.sheemakalbasi.com