(Photo: Masoud)


Simin Behbahani

Simin Behbahani (Khalili)
Born in 1927 in Tehran
Nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1997

Her father: Abbas Khalili, writer and newspaper editor, tens of publications to his credit.
Her mother: Fakhr Azami Arghoun (Fakhr Aal Khalatbari), a writer, newspaper editor, and a poet.

Simin Behbahani began poetry at the age of 14. She used the "Char Pareh" style of Nima, a renowned poet of Persian history, and subsequently, turn to "Ghazal", a free flowing, poetry style similar to the Western "Sonnet".

Simin contributed to a historic development in the form of the "Ghazal", as she added theatrical subjects, and daily events and conversations into this style of poetry. She has expanded the range of traditional Persian verse forms and produced some of the most significant works of Persian literature in 20th century.

Love Arrived and How Red, Translated to English by M. Alexandrian.
Love arrived and how red?
Although it is too late;
The rose has grown in the snow,
O how delightful it does glow!

Love, O love! O love! O love!
How far you sit on the peak above!
My legs, O how they tremble! Behold
My hands, O how wrinkled and old!

I am afraid, I fear, O mate!
For by the breeze I vibrate;
Love, the phantom of doubt, bound
Is sleeping in the pound.
The young cactus is grown
In a tropical zone;
But I come from polar plain,
May heart is cold, barren;
The cocoon is thicker than the content,
As if my heart has swollen and spent.
She yearns to fly, she does desire
That which is jailed in the mire;
But her wings have stalled and rotten,
It is too late, too late to batten.
That which flew with passion,
Her mind full of conviction
Poor of credulity and belief,
Is bound to remain in unbelief.
She who romped and pranced in the dell,
Was swift like the quick gazelle; 
Now tamed, silent and quiet,
Like the lamb she bows her head.
Her proud crown and her fan
Was the ring of the rainbow!
She is crestfallen and crumbled;
She is ashamed and humbled.

Love, O red torch of delight!
Send your last brilliant light;
Perhaps my gray despair, distraught
Reflects my gloomy thought.

Contemporary Persian Poets

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