Literature of Iran

Nosrat Rahmani


Nosrat Rahmani (1929-2000)

Rahmani grew up in the slums of Tehran and received his college degree from Ministry of PTT. After few years of services in the Ministry, Nosrat Rahmani moved to the state radio and then he abandoned government employment for journalism and freelance writing. 

His poetry is the poetry of the stubborn, humiliated and revolting down-town people in Tehran's slums; he never forgets his concern for the plight of the urban poor. His memoirs entitled, The Man Lost in the Dust (1957), provide an emotional account of the life of an addict.

During the 60's and 70's, Rahmani was a popular poet among people and specially the youth.

As a whole, his poetry is dramatic in structure and fantastic in effect, often attempting to recapture the past by poeticizing its recollections. 

Migration and Desert, Cashmere, Rendezvous in the Slime, The Burning of Wind, Harvest, Sword, the Darling of the Pen, The Goblet Made Another Round

Mirror No. 58, Translated to English by Manavaz Alexandrian
A Yalda of patience
Has spread its Warf and woof on the puzzled mirror.
My coffin has slid to the margin,
In keen expectation
Where is the hand to open the knots
From the traces of the wind,
So I can raise my sails towards the darling's land?

O mirror-holder!
Was not that corpse wrapped in the white shroud of my aspirations
And fallen in frozen asleep
Called confidence? 

To bury the tears on the plains
With the bitter taste of farewell dagger
In nocturnal excursions.

At what space of time was it?
Is the image of poets in the workshops of the world 
This: To exhume 
And to abort the fetus of recollection with the pen's claws!
To wander in the province of ideal talk?

O Mirror-holder!
When the perfume of my agitated poems
Curled under your ear lobes,
My soul, this detached fragment, this realm of pain,
Burned in the heat of the flames of your breath,
That love, this golden key,
Can't turn in the lock of death. 

One must search like the river in the vein of one's own song,
And one must sink
In the middle of the swamp;
One must break knees 
Among bloody leather tablecloths
And count down under the descending ax
Or like the waterfall expire in the heart of one's own flight! 
And break the cup
And spill the wine.

I never had a choice,
I both broke the cup and the sediment,
Look at the palm of my hand,
And see 58 years of agitation.

Remember... darling ... darling,
What you did with my playful heart,
When in the street and in bazaar your hand,
Was playing childish pranks.
What did you do to my heart
That it grew old in a tavern and froze?
O Burglar!

And forget not
They have made me dance, made me dance,
Barefoot on the razor's edge 
And a tired me , ...
To the season of dawn.
With the spectrum of the scent of rose,
I have broken my fast.

Does man mean explosion
And life 
To be hurled from the womb into tomb?
Will reason 
be no more cured by the spell of love and madness?...
I am ruined,

It is long since the cock
Has cried its third cry,
And our denial has been proven.

I never believe
In ascension,
But believe ... descent without a parachute at Golgotha;
Flight lives with Jesus' life.

All my fear is of an eagle's offspring,
Who has broken its egg just today
For a hungry snake is stealing it now
From the depth of the nest!

What must I do, O darling?
Should I rise and lend a helping hand?

Never knot the wind,
Always under the monumental moment,
The bowl makes another round;
It is another person's turn,
There is always a chance!

A Yalda of patience
Has spread its Warf and woof on the puzzled mirror.
The smoke has risen
From the ancient stump.


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