Photo: Masoud

Reprinted from:
"Poem Quarterly"
No. 2
Spring 2004


Omran Salahi

Iranian Poet
Molla Nasreddin Poet!
My first name is Omran. Salahi is my second name. My first name is chosen by my uncle, Morad. It is taken from "Al Omran" verse of Quran. Turk call me "Imran", but Fars people pronounce the first word of my name both with "O" and "E". Publishers and translators wonder how to write it. It doesn't matter. Everyone can write and read it as he/she likes.

Ahmad Shamlou said, "His name is Omran (it means "flourishing and construction"), but he caused destruction from the beginning".

I was born on February 28 in Tehran, on the intersection of Amirieh St. and Gomrok St., but not just in the middle of the intersection! Though, people say, "the best of the things, is in the middle of them" (an expression in Persian).

My mother was born in Baku. She was called "rosa", when she lived in Baku; they changed her name to "Firouzeh", after coming to Iran. Her second name was "Qanbar-zadeh", but they also changed it to "Panahandeh" (It means "Refugee".). Her ID Card was issued in Semnan.

My father, Moheb-ollah, the son of "Qahraman", was born in "Sham-Asbi", a village in Ardebil province, but this village is joined to Ardebil city, now, or maybe, Ardebil has come and joined to it! My father worked in Railway Organization. In 1960, when we lived in Tabriz, and at a cold winter night, he died without awaring us! "The man would stay as the train left; the train stayed and the man left, this time."

I have a brother, called "Parviz", and my three sisters are "Tahereh", "Nahid", and "Maliheh". My wife is "Hayedeh", and my children are "Yashar" and "Bahareh" and a plenty of poems and other writings.

I studied at different schools and I lived in different cities, such as Qom, Tehran and Tabriz. Because of a great talent, I failed for three years, during my education at high school!

I am graduated with an associated of arts degree in English translating from Tehran University. I can speak English, as well as an English, who speaks Persian.

I did my military service in Tehran, Tabriz, Kermanshah and most of it in Maraqeh, as a sergeant. Those who had diploma, became sergeants and those with BA degree became officers in the army. They didn't know, what to do with me. I had neither a diploma, nor a BA degree!

I could only find a job in Radio & TV Organization, by my incomplete degree. Then, I became an editor. I got my glorious retirement in 1991, while I was running Soroush Library, and as it is too hard to run the wheel of the life by the glory of the retirement, I have to work somewhere else.

The Craze

Tehran, 2002  

Riding my gaze
I flew out the window
to a hill with snow on the slopes
and much to speak

It was cold-
I lit a small fire
saw you there in the shades
the world suspended within a drop

Riding my gaze
I came back
Persian Contemporary Poets
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