In Rented Homes


This is a simple, moving poem about the experience of transience; of never feeling at home. Alireza Abiz’s literal translation originally began ‘You take off your clothes […] Hang them on the rusty metal hanger’ but he explained this was about coming home from work, taking off your coat or work clothes and getting comfortable. We felt ‘clothes’ and ‘hanger’ implied stripping off completely! So we changed the hanger to a ‘hook’ and the ‘clothes’ to a more specific ‘coat.’

Again this is a poem full of personification. The slippers are as exhausted as their owner. The chair has been waiting all day. The English has a kind of accidental pun here – the weight of the sitter ends the chair’s wait – but after much discussion, we decided to just embrace this.

Clare Pollard - Poet Translator


In the second workshop on Iraj Ziayi, we managed to complete 3 short poems. ‘In Rented Homes’ is again a poem about the relationship of man with objects written in second person narrative for more immediate effect. The narrator- poet describes old and worn out objects, a rusty coat hook, tired slippers and the wooden chair who (the chair is personified) has been anxiously waiting for his return home. The surprise ending changes the poem from a poem about objects to one about the poet himself. The poet is deeply related to all these objects but has no connection with the home containing these objects. He even doesn’t remember which rented home he is writing this poem in. 

Alireza Abiz - Literal Translator

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