Play and Poetry

Here are a few Poems from “Songs of Prison”, a persian poetry book by my father, Amir Hossein Sajadieh. I co-translated the poems with the late dear Nader Rafii. With Stephanie Ringstaff, the English translator of the book, together we recreate the Persian translation of the poems into English poetry.

Song 49(Halos)

They took

Everyone

Everything

All there was

Up

Up

To the edge

Up and into the pit

Sleeping in the Earth

Up to the dream of history.

The ashes that smell of you

Will linger in the prison

In halos

Dark halos

In the memory of the air

Will meld with

The sand

The stones

The cement.

Perhaps one day

The wall will collapse

And freedom will come

And dance

With joy

In halos

And halos

In the air.

They took

Everything there was

Everyone there was

Up

Up

Up

To the dream of history.

 

 

Song 48(Another Number)

The butterfly flies away from the prison

To the photo album

To the calendar

When the sound of the

Bang

Bang

Bang

Of single shots is heard.

 

The butterfly,

A number around its neck,

Blossoms

In a rain of shots,

And rests in the

Layers

And layers

Of the photo album,

Of the calendar,

In dust.

The butterfly flies away from the prison

When the sound of the

Bang

Bang

Bang

Of single shots is heard.

 

 

Song 16 (Homecoming)

The wind came out of the walls.

The wind

Took long, long steps,

Setting foot beyond the walls,

Beyond the forbidden words.

 

The wind had abandoned time,

The happy, happy wind.

 

The wind

With two long legs,

Two long human legs,

Had fled

From the enclosure,

Through the walls,

Fled captivity.

 

Long,

Long,

It strode.

 

When it reached the square,

Happy, happy,

It greeted the shadows:

Shadows hanging from the poles,

The shadows in the execution square.

The wind said “hello”,

But nobody would respond.

 

The wind said hello again.

The wind gave the shadows a shaking.

 

Nobody would give him a response.

 

The wind stayed.

A little longer…

Then went away.

Far, far away…

The wind began wailing in the wilderness.

 

 

 

Song 21 (Refuge)

When the moon went beyond the night

I dreamt of when I was an infant

 

When the ceiling was barred

Barred and blocked

When the moon was a mother

Nursing me

When I was thirsty

 

When the cries of my nursing days

Gave way to screams of pain in the interrogation room

In the dryness of my mouth

 

When the ceiling was barred

When the moon nursed me no more

And covered her breasts

With robes of the ceiling’s concrete

When the moon faded away

 

When dreams were getting lost

In bright milky halos

In concrete ceilings

In sleep, fear and wakefulness

 

When the cries of my nursing days

Were emerging from

The screams and screams of torment

In the interrogation room

 

When the moon faded away in the dark night

When the cries of my nursing days

Woke me up with thirst

 

When the moon went beyond the night

 

 

 

Here is a short poetic play of mine:

SSajadieh_Through the Door Slit

Here is a one-page essay about Arts, Sciences, and Imagination, inspired by a film, called “Das Netz (The Net)” .

An Essay on Das Netz

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