Spring Is Coming
What does exile taste like, my darling,
what is it to know loneliness?
To know the sun's loneliness in the empty sky,
to know a reflection's loneliness inside the mirror frame,
to know the heart's loneliness in the breast.
Life pulls us
towards an alley where drifts of snow fall on us.
Path after path leads through
a mocking hall of mirrors.
Feet will forget the melody of stroll,
Hands will no longer hear blood bubbling
through narrow veins.
And hearts, O our hearts, will be so weak love leaks away -
or not - I do not know. But I do know, my love,
there is a way back - through memory's mirror.
I reach for the chapter of simple miracles:
the spring was heavenly silk when you first said,
'Hello my little sister.'
Behind my teenage front lived a baby - a thousand-year-old pupil.
Later, your letters flooded my dark eyes with light:
those letters were the gnosis of Persian poetry.
Years later, the nightingales of Moscow
heard the Epic of the Kings from your tongue
and envied the phoenix.
Soaring tuse trees on the verges
saluted the poet Hafez's flowing cypresses,
the chime of church bells
was the tinkle of camel-bells of the poet Sa'di's caravan.
The caravan has gone - lost in desert dust.
And now, O camel-driver, carrier of loneliness, O my brother,
what does separation taste like?
In this world are scattered letters
that spell out loud and clear - this:
Wait, my darling, spring will come ...
The literal translation of this poem was made by Narguess Farzad
The final translated version of the poem is by Jo Shapcott
© Poetry Translation Centre 2004-2013