چهار رویش / Four Springs, a poem of womanhood.

 چهار رویش

پرتو نوری علا

۱ –  بلوغ

بال وُ پَرِ پَروانگان وُ
پیله های زرد ابریشم۰
آشفته موی وُ برهنه پا، دخترک،
سر در پی نسیم می گذارد؛
بال وُ پَرِِ کودکان وُ
بازی های گمشده در غبار نور۰
کجاست دوازده سالگی
با عروسک ها وُ طنابِ بازی وُ
خانه ی مقوّایی ام
و یک لکّه خون؛
حجابِ کودکی وُ آفتابِ بلوغ۰

-۲ عشق

خو کرده به کودکی اش با شرم،
پستان های نورسیده اش را
در شبنم می شوید۰
بهاری شکفته را مانَد
در باغ نو ظهور
نگاه را از خواسته اش می دُزدد،
اما کوبشِِ قلب
حتی در توفان، شنیدنی است۰
شکوفه ی بادام
شانزده سالگی را نوازش کرده است
و بوسه ی بیدار عشق
زُلالِ پوستم را۰

-۳ زایمان

چه سوزشی دارد درد؛
تیزی گَزلیک وُ خار خارِِ پوست۰
بر استخوان ها می کوبند
هزار مُشت؛
نیمه ی جان وُ بند بندِ شکافته ی تن۰
فشار، فشار، فشار۰۰۰
ملافه ها را چنگ می زَنَد
 پرده ی نقره ای ابر تکان می خورَد؛
وهمِ سپیدِِ آب وُ زبانِ خشک
که به سَق می چسبد۰
فشار، درد، هلاکت۰۰۰
کودکی عجول
از تنگنای زُهدان می گریزد؛
هیجده سالگی ام را فریادم خط می اندازد۰
در دَمی نا غافل
مخلوقم دَردش را به جانم ریخته است۰

-۴ یائسگی

چهل وُ نُه سالگی را
پروای پچپچه ی پیر آدمیانِِِِِِِِِِِِِ
ترسخورده نیست۰
زمان سر گیجه می گیرد
از شیدایی افشانِِ گرته ها،
و پرتوِ نوری که می تابد از آینه ی روح
رهایم می کند
از فَربهی خرافه و خشم۰
با شوقِ سبزِ شکفتن
تا دانشِ زلال محبّت
 یائسگی، تلاش بی ٹمری دارد
 زیرا که بوته ی قدیمی قلبم
هرگز این چنین سرخ نروییده است

Four Springs

Partow Nooriala

Eruption

Yellow silk cocoon,
Butterfly flaps fluttering
Disheveled hair bare feet
The little girl
Sets out in the breeze.
Children flittering
And lost games linger in afternoon haze.
Where is that twelve-year-old girl?
With my dolls and jump ropes
And cardboard house.
And a drop of blood
A veil between childhood and puberty’s dawn.

Bursting

Bashful, clinging to childhood,
She bathes her breast-buds In morning dew.
She is a budding spring
A sudden pageantry of green.
She averts her eyes from her beloved
But the thumping of her heart Is audible even through a storm.
The almond blossom
Brushes the sixteen-year-old girl
As does the here and now of love
My lustrous skin.

Issuing

How it burns
Dagger gouging, skin pins and needles
A thousand
Blows on the bones
Half-conscious and torn asunder.
Push, push, push
She claws at the sheets,
Those mercurial clouds shift.
Bright wet hallucinations and dry
Tongue stuck to palate.
Pressure, pain, perishing…
An impatient child
Escapes the uterine strait.
My howls drown my nineteenth year.
In one instant
My creation assigns its pain to me.

Blossoming

Forty nine-year-old
Is not wary of phobic
Fuddy-duddy chitter-chatter.
Time spins In a frenzy of repollination
And the ray of light
Emanating from my soul
Releases me from
Decadent superstition
And wrath.
Ecstatic in yet-springing-anew
Finally wise to seasoned love
Menopause*, this Change of Life
Fights an uphill battle
For this old shrub of a heart
Has never before blossomed so red.

* In Persian, the word for Menopause also means annulment and/or despair.

From The Translation Project

the politics of bicycles 2

from  londonrihla

“On the basis of a fatwa issued by the supreme religious guide [Ayatollah Khamenei], women cycling in public is prohibited. Disobeying such a fatwa within the Islamic Republic of Iran could lead to penalties such as imprisonment and flogging.”

New Shahnameh Translation.

from NPR 

Just in time for [Nowruz], there’s a new English translation of the Shahnameh, the “Persian Book of Kings.” The epic was written over the course of 35 years, begun in the 10th century and finished in the 11th century by the poet Abolqasem Ferdowsi when the Persian Empire was a memory and Arabs dominated what is now the nation of Iran.

The story told in the Shahnameh begins with the origins of the world, recounts myths and legends of ancient times, then traces centuries of royal lineage, ending with the Arab invasion of Persia.

Translator Dick Davis is currently professor of Persian at Ohio State University and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He takes an unorthodox approach to the epic, transforming Ferdowsi’s verse into a combination of poetry and prose.

The Shahnameh’s 60,000 couplets of Farsi roughly translate to 100,000 lines of English verse. It evolved from earlier oral epics and a Persian history commissioned by the royal family.

Davis says his translation is an effort to more closely mimic the cadence and feel of how storytellers have recited the Shahnameh for 1,000 years.

Get it here. and here.

Persian Music

I listen to Iranianradio.com.  They have three streams: 1. Persian Pop 2. Dance Party and 3. Traditional (Sonati).

 .من دوست دارم که یک روز ایران رو ببینم 

فارسی من بد است ,من باید فارسی رو بیشتر تمرین کنم

Hafez Online

A number of Hafez’s poems are online in english, with the original persian – as well as the transliteration.  They are beautifully illuminated and available in persian/english mp3 format.

 http://www.mage.com/poetry/hafez_main.html

My Jalaali Birthday

The Jalaali or Persian Calendar is a solar calendar currently used in Iran and Afghanistan. It is observation-based, rather than rule-based, beginning each year on the vernal equinox as precisely determined by astronomical observations from Tehran.

My birthday was Panjshanbeh, 22 Khordad 1359.

Today is Yekshanbeh, 19 Fervardin  1386.

Keep me in mind this year: Seshhanbeh, 22 Khordad 1386.

http://www.iranchamber.com/calendar/iranian_calendar_converter.php

Spring Break ’07!!!!?

Iran to Create Women-Only Island

TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran is seeking to create a paradise for female tourists by turning an island on a northwestern lake into male-free zone, the press reported on Wednesday.

All public transport, restaurants and facilities on the island — on the gigantic Oroumiyeh lake close to the Turkish border — will be staffed only by women, officials said.

“The island of Arezou (Wish), one of the 102 islands in the Oroumiyeh Lake, will be equipped especially for women,” a municipal official in the West Azerbaijan province, identified only as Aghai, was quoted as saying by the Tehran Emrouz newspaper.

“There will be no men on the island,” he said. “It will also boost tourism in the area.”

“The construction of hotels, small restaurants and medical centres under the management of women is one of the specifications for this island, which is the first such in the country,” Aghai said.

The initiative has even been cleared by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s provincial representative, who declared that a women-only island is not against Islamic sharia law, the official said.

Iran’s Islamic codes strictly prohibit exposure of unveiled women to men.

Iran has already partitioned parts of its southern and northern beaches as women-only zones where women can legally remove their headscarves and overcoats in freedom.

In some cities, there are also special “women parks”.

An Exerpt from a letter from the President of Iran to the American People

Noble Americans,

While Divine providence has placed Iran and the United States geographically far apart, we should be cognizant that human values and our common human spirit, which proclaim the dignity and exalted worth of all human beings, have brought our two great nations of Iran and the United States closer together.

Both our nations are God-fearing, truth-loving and justice-seeking, and both seek dignity, respect and perfection.

Both greatly value and readily embrace the promotion of human ideals such as compassion, empathy, respect for the rights of human beings, securing justice and equity, and defending the innocent and the weak against oppressors and bullies.

We are all inclined towards the good, and towards extending a helping hand to one another, particularly to those in need.

We all deplore injustice, the trampling of peoples’ rights and the intimidation and humiliation of human beings.

We all detest darkness, deceit, lies and distortion, and seek and admire salvation, enlightenment, sincerity and honesty.

The pure human essence of the two great nations of Iran and the United States testify to the veracity of these statements.

Noble Americans,

Our nation has always extended its hand of friendship to all other nations of the world. 

Hundreds of thousands of my Iranian compatriots are living amongst you in friendship and peace, and are contributing positively to your society.  Our people have been in contact with you over the past many years and have maintained these contacts despite the unnecessary restrictions of US authorities.

As mentioned, we have common concerns, face similar challenges, and are pained by the sufferings and afflictions in the world.

It is possible to govern based on an approach that is distinctly different from one of coercion, force and injustice.

It is possible to sincerely serve and promote common human values, and honesty and compassion.

It is possible to provide welfare and prosperity without tension, threats, imposition or war.

I pray to the Almighty to bless the Iranian and American nations and indeed all nations of the world with dignity and success. 

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

29 November 2006  

Lipstick Jihad

Wonderful book on the problems faced by children of new immigrants to the US, whether they come as young children or as first generation Americans.  Am I Iranian or American; and how does one define exactly what is an Iranian-American? Moaveni Khanoum’s experience takes it a bit further when she moves to Iran and becomes an American-Iranina (w/e), she is Iran, but most label her as American. How to be an Iranina-American in Iran?  Very nice read.

The] sense of being an outsider in two worlds may have made daily life difficult for Ms. Moaveni, but it also makes her a wonderfully acute observer, someone keenly attuned not only to the differences between American and Iranian cultures, but also to the ironies and contradictions of life today in Tehran

–Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Azadeh Moaveni illuminates one of the broadest political truths: Falseness in sexual life leads to falseness everywhere, the denial of truths of the individual body leads to corruption of the body politic.

LA Weekly

I wanted to quote that last paragraph, but I didnt have time to get it in here, maybe another time.

Be sure to check out: http://www.lipstickjihad.com

Currently reading :
Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America and American in Iran
By Azadeh Moaveni
Release date: By 01 March, 2005

Happy Nowruz!

Another Safarnameh

This one I started this morning, already 1/3 of the way through it.  This one is interesting from the last one I read, bc this author is a Canadian citizen.  So its a diff perspective then a writer from the US or Iran. Bc canada doesnt have the restricive measures enforced bothways btw Canada and Iran, as the USA does.

So far so good!

UPDATE 100805: Finished it, enjoyed it.

Honeymoon in Purdah: An Iranian Journey
By Alison Wearing

Persian or Farsi?

In recent years, there has been a growing tendency to refer to Persian as Farsi.

Persian, the term used for centuries in the West, originated in a region of southern Iran formerly known as Persis. It was the language of the Parsa, an Indo-European nomadic people who migrated into the region about 1000 BC. The older forms of the language are known as Old and Middle Persian. Old Persian was spoken until approximately the 3rd century BC and Middle Persian, or Pahlavi, was spoken from the 3rd century BC to the 9th century AD. (1)

The use of the names Persia and Persian were gradually extended by the ancient Greeks and other Western peoples to apply to the Iranian Plateau and the official language in the region respectively. New Persian is closely related to these ancient forms. Persian became the lingua franca of the region during the Islamic period. It was the official language of countries such as India for many centuries during which time numerous annals, chronicles, and court volumes of poetry were compiled outside Iran. (2)

In recent years the word Farsi, the Arabized form of Parsi, the name of the language in Persian, has become the standard word used by many English and non-English speakers to refer to modern Persian. Some Iranian authorities have actually encouraged this and have engaged in a systematic attempt to change the name of the language in the international communities to Farsi. (3)

This attempt to replace the word “Persian” with “Farsi” is not only incongruous with the history of the language but also creates confusion and misunderstanding. While the use of the word Farsi is a political statement for some Iranian authorities, for others it may indicate a lack of knowledge about the history of this language. It indicates that those who carelessly promote the use of the word Farsi are indeed engaging in an equivocal representation of this language and may not, by any means, be promoting Iranian culture.

Three main groups use the word Farsi instead of Persian while speaking English: non-Iranians who are somewhat familiar with the country and its culture; second-generation Iranians who know some Persian, and Iranians, including some officials, who do not have a sound knowledge about their culture and language.

The first two groups find it more confortable to refer to the language as Farsi and the third group finds it more politically correct to do so. In either case they do not do justice when they try to change the name of this language in English.

No matter who does it, there are three reasons why it is a mistake to refer to the Persian language as Farsi. First, it is ignoring the above historical facts about this language. It is as incorrect as calling the Persian Gulf as the Farsi Gulf. Moreover, the name Farsi is obscure and under the best conditions refers only to certain dialects .

Second, the use of word Farsi in English strikes a discordant tone to the native speaker. Imagine someone speaking in English about their recent trip to Paris saying, “I went to Paris and there I spoke Francais.” To use the word Farsi has the same impact and may sound not only pretentious at times but also destructive of English syntax.

Third, the word Persian in the mind of an English speaker, consciously or not, recalls many other historical and cultural legacies about Iran. Persian is closely associated with Persian poetry, Persian carpets, Persian cats, Persian poetry, Persian pistachios, and so on. When you refer to this language as Persian, the audience may associate it with one or more of these relevant ideas. On the contrary, the word Farsi not only voids these historical and cultural associations, but it also adds to the recent portrayal of Iran as a strange and distant society.

We should therefore avoid the use of the word Farsi instead of Persian (ou Persan en francais) because it not only violates historical fact but also some of the regularities of the language in which we speak. I believe that Persian is the true and proper name of this language in foreign tongues and international communities and changing it does not benefit the representation of Iranian culture.

—–
Notes:
1. See Ehsan Yarshater, “Zaban-i Nozohur” IrnianShenasi: A Journal of Iranian Studies, IV, I (Spring, 1992), 27-30; “Iran Ra dar Zabanha-ye Khareji Cheh Bayad Khand?” Rahavard: A Journal of Iranian Studies, V & VI, 20/21 (Summer & Fall, 1988), 70-75; and Nam-e Keshvar-e Ma Ra dar Zaban-e Engelisi Cheh Bayad Khand?” Rahavard, VIII, 29, (Spring, 1992), 22-26.
2. See Edward G. Browne, A Literary History of Persia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1902-4) and Jan Rypka, History of Iranian Literature (Dordrecht, Holland, 1968)
3.English language journals published in Iran., text books published by the Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance, and materials published for tourists often refer to Persian as Farsi.

Please also see:
point:
Persian NOT Farsi by Ali Parandeh
and counterpoint:
I Speak Farsi by Sussan Tahmasebi

Neither East Nor West: A Safarnameh

Safarnameh is the farsi/persian word for travelogue, or literally, travel letter.

This book was truely a wonderful safarnameh about one woman’s journey through the Islamic Republic of Iran, in the mid-90s.

Many things we westerners dont know about Iran, but this book certainly was an eye opener that helped to dispel many of the american/western misconceptions about Iran and her ppl.

It is a travelogue, but also a western window to this all too forbidden place. While Iran is still currently on the No American Travel list at the state dept, I would certainly like to go. More then Cuba? Perhaps.

Join me?

Currently reading: Neither East Nor West : One Woman’s Journey Through the Islamic Republic of Iran By Christiane Bird