Forough Farrokhzad (selected from Later on*, 1958)
My death will arrive one day,
It may be a bright, spring dawn.
It may be a distant winter dusk.
Or perhaps a silent night-
in a foggy, frozen fall.
My hands will fall on the pallor of a page,
My rhyming thoughts will flee from their cage,
My mind losing to the vibration of this last verse,
there will remain- no sorrow, no pain, no rage.
incessantly calling my name,
they will arrive to place me inside the grave.
Oh, perhaps my lovers, at all midnights-
will put some flowers on my lone place.
Days so quickly get to weeks,
And weeks become months as fast;
You’ll stare into the eyes of the clock,
waiting in vain my letters, my calls.
My lifeless body will calmly rest-
far from you and the pounds of your heart-
in the voiceless arms of Mother Earth.
The sun, the wind and the rain,
will polish the cold stone of my grave:
And lastly I’ll be free- forever free-
from the myths of return,
name and fame.
(Trans.: MD, July 2006, The Hague)
PS. This poem is first published in Forough Farrokhzad’s anthology published when she was 23 years old.