Ahmad Shamloo

Ahmad Shamloo

(1925 – 2000) Penname A. Bamdad - Iranian poet, writer, and journalist. Shamloo was arguably the most influential poet of modern Iran. 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.

 

 

In this dead-end

They smell your mouth
To find out if you have told someone:
I love you!
They smell your heart!

Such a strange time it is, my dear;

And they punish Love
At thoroughfares
By flogging.

We must hide our Love in dark closets.

In this crooked dead end of a bitter cold
They keep their fire alive
By burning our songs and poems;
Do not place your life in peril by your thoughts!

Such a strange time it is, my dear!

He who knocks on your door in the middle of the night,
His mission is to break your Lamp!
We must hide our Lights in dark closets!

Behold! butchers are on guard at thoroughfares
With their bloodstained cleavers and chopping-boards;

Such a strange time it is, my dear!

They cut off the smiles from lips,
and the songs from throats!
We must hide our Emotions in dark closets!

They barbecue canaries
On a fire of jasmines and lilacs!

Such a strange time it is, my dear!

Intoxicated by victory,
Satan is enjoying a feast at our mourning table!

We must hide our God in dark closets!