The Eighties

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Azadeh Azad
by Azadeh Azad
14-Sep-2008
 

Dear all,

 

This is a translation I did of Mohsen Namjoo's lyrics for his powerful song "The eighties". I'd like to thank IRANdokht and Nazy Kaviani for their precious input. Enjoy.  

Azadeh

 

The Eighties

 

By Mohsen Namjoo

 

The day Mother bought the school bag

Red, trunk type, first year, with key

The day principle of geometry was hard to solve

Teacher from Hamadan, hundred caravans of martyrs

The day that wants soul of childhood dead

The day that regret’s incumbent upon me when high.

 

The day that was forgotten

The day that was remembered

The big city that’s one day ruled by the boor.

 

The day that was forgotten

The day that blew in the wind

It’s always been this way, oh my, it’s always been this way.

 

The day the graphic ruler broke in the middle of reprimand

The day the house bells were Trumpet of Resurrection indeed.

 

The day of grasp of contradiction, discrimination, pride, preference

The day of the stain of your eye’s salt water on the typo.

 

The day that was forgotten

The day that blew in the wind

The big city that’s one day ruled by the boor.

 

The day of the envy of a bar-fix in the arm’s thin mind

The day of the envy of being a fix-friend in the school’s team

The day of propagation of unlearned speeches

The day of exciting narration of the film Hey Joe.

 

The day that was forgotten

The day that blew in the wind.

 

The day neighbour’s daughter shit on you

The day neighbouring country ripped your father

The day death came in through the window of the locked door

The day there were two channels, Channel One went to war

From Channel Two came Vatou-Vatou.

 

The day that went with the wind

The day that was remembered

The big city that’s one day ruled by the boor.

 

The day that wants soul of childhood dead

The day that regret’s incumbent upon me when high

The day that fire has no use

Vaporise the opium on your hot exhalation

The day that brazier has no use

Plant the opium pipe on your chest.

 

The day that went with the wind

The day that blew it in the wind

The big city that’s one day ruled by the boor.

 

The day leader was tank-stricken teen

The day short sleeve was kick in the loin

The day that was beard, the day shirt’s armpit torn,

the day collar was dirty out of extreme faith

The day Douglas was not yet Michael, but Kirk.

 

The day that was forgotten

The day that blew it in the wind

The big city that’s one day ruled by the boor.

 

The day lust was still in the suburb

The day that in the metaphor of sky, drop was sea

The day the world would come to an end

Every Friday evening of the week

Weekly report, after the big screen film

(The day the last pleasure was weekly report.)

 

The day that was forgotten

The day that was remembered

The big city that’s one day ruled by the boor.

 

The day that was cold

Chess game and backgammon were non-kosher

The only kosher was this yellow mien

The only kosher was, in short, opium and powder.

 

The day that was forgotten

The day that blew in the wind.

 

The day in the memory of the great

Visits were the heart of pain

The day that was the end, was garrison, was not Tehran,

The street was the field of the free.

 

The day that was forgotten

The day that blew in the wind

The big city that’s one day ruled by the boor.

 

The day that TV interval was the lone picture of the lost

It was not Iran, it was the cradle of the thirsty

The day that the Capital was the field of the free

Was not field, was street, was garrison.

 

The day that was forgotten

The day that blew it in the wind.

 

The day Chamran slept quietly on Parkway

The day

Fawzia was martyred in Karbala

The day Shah left, Republic became one-way street

The day the only way to Freedom was through Revolution

The day that was moonlight, was mirage, was pure mirage

That drink I took at the age of eight by St-Masoumeh's,

Mother had bought it, was green, was Seven-up.

 

Alas, what did the spirit of times do to us

Alas, what gift did the teacher give us.

 

Ketekolovitz designs, Ghodsi Ghazi-Nour

The spirit of proletarian world

The staircase, intense anger of the poor snow-sweeper

Frozen finger of the paper boy

The ice broken with a finger’s touch

Flowing water, furious flood

Frustration with five-thousand circulation.

 

It rained microphones from the sky, by force

The idiot in his turn swallowed someone, by mistake

The day the ear was the cheapest goods

The story was the cliché of a bad-hearted rich.

 

The day that was forgotten

The day that blew in the wind.

 

The girl named Nell

In the bustle of the city

Was in search of eternal Eden, Paradise,

Behind the hair fallen on her brother’s eye

Or the hair detached from Grandfather’s neck

Inside the carriage wheel

Inside the carriage wheel’s tyre tread

inside the carriage wheel’s very tyre tread

Inside the rotation of the carriage wheel’s very tyre tread

Inside the rotating wheel of so many games of the times.

 

We suffered so much in these thirty years

Only to have suffered. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

 

 

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more from Azadeh Azad
 
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I Love the People Who...

by Anonymous-Zadeh (not verified) on

...(Can)Dig Mohsen Namjoo! Thanks Azadeh!

PS. (Azadeh Azad), aziz your name is too Cool!


ebi amirhosseini

re :1976

by ebi amirhosseini on

the link is his own site,which is approved by him.dear friend,why should you be surprised to see him having gray hair at the age of 32?!

1- A lot of poeple genetically have white hair at very early age.

2- Many young poeple nowadays have gray hair in Iran,due to social,economical....presures they have to bear.

let's assume he is 45,does it solve your problem?!Leave the poor guy alone,what has he done to you?!.

Dear Madmosile,next time use your own registered account,since your style of writing easily betrays you.

best wishes


Souri

dear TheMrs

by Souri on

I read all the comments and thank all of you for taking time to respond to me. Yours, is a very great point, which I wish you could re-write it as a new blog, then we can argue more about this.

Unfortunately I don't have much time today to explore this subject with you and other friends. Indeed, I think here is neither the place nor the time to do it. Azadeh Azad, did a great translation of Namjoo's poem, as a fan.

If we want to talk about "Generation" and it's relation to " Art" and "Identity " which I esteem is a very great subject, I wish we could do it in another place.
All due respect to Azadeh's work here.


IRANdokht

personal experience

by IRANdokht on

When I caught my son listening to Parissa and enjoying her song I was shocked and thought to myself: that's the music of my generation, what can he possibly get out of it? does he understand the Hafez' poem? how could he possibly enjoy this when he doesn't GET it like I do.

I caught myself just in time and didn't say anything. Parissa and Hafez don't belong to me. I smiled and he smiled back and said: now this is one of the few iranian songs on your CD that I dig! She's really good!

 

IRANdokht


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1976?

by Q=question (not verified) on

Namjoo’s date of birth is listed as 1976 (1354) in Wikipedia and other places including the link provided by ebi, however all these sites might be copy and pasting from each other without double checking for accuracy. I have not found a source to indicate a different age, but he does not seem to be 32 years old. The more I look at his pictures the more I believe his age to be near 42 than 32.
Why Am I so curious about his age? Because in several places his poetry is explained away by calling it voice of his generation. Even some people who are younger than 32 feel as he speaks their language. So, that’s why I asked. If he speaks the language of his generation we out to know his age. Even I who had a lot of gray hair at the age of 42 had less gray hair than him at 32. Maybe I'm wrong.

“Deficiency of nutritients specially copper can reduce the production of melanin.”
“…Malnutrition, worry, shock, deep sorrow, tension and other similar conditions may also slow down the production of melanin resulting in gray hair.”
But, what about his wrinkles and his sagging facial skin? I think he is older than 32.


TheMrs

Nazi K. jaan,  

by TheMrs on

Nazi K. jaan,

 

Generalizations are representative of certain situations and give an over all picture of reality. It doesn’t have to be at the expense of individuality!

 

Generally speaking, “your” identity is largely clear. For the most part, your generation grew up in Iran, with a common language and a common socio political experience.

 

For people 40s and under who grew up out of Iran, we don’t REALLY have a common language! We are multilingual with various national identities. We have sub groups of socio political experiences because we live in different countries. You may think this applies to the older generation too, but it doesn’t to the same extent. Because their immigration is some what a consequence of their youth and political activities, that can’t be said of a 16 year old growing up in Denver. And your Iranian past still links you to a larger historically distinct and geographically restricted group.

 

Generally speaking, my generation is successful (thanks to good parents) but mostly disenfranchised and melted into other societies. In SOME ways, we are unrecognizable. There’s no information on our experiences, on who we are or on how many of us there are! Unlike you, we don’t have a common narration for anyone to begin understanding us! People like Marjan Satrapi are emerging but they are far and few in between and come in many languages! I’m not complaining, we’re level headed and positive but we are invisible. So far.

 

Previous generations experienced Iran’s politics in their homeland and with an extended family! There’s a whole group of Iranians out there who have never even met their family! Not to mention the young refugee men who left to avoid the draft. Where the heck are they? Do we know how successful they are? What are their rates of financial security, mental health or marriages? What is their connection to Iran? They have all but disappeared from history.

 

Namjoo speaks on a different level to many who grew up with him, like him. More so in Iran. A German can love Namjoo but won't understand him the way you do. And the same applies to a generation gap.

 

Maybe my manzoor “Understanding” didn't come through. For me, it’s not about the experience of watching, sympathizing or even being a close witness to another person’s experience. At some point, there is a limit to humanity and history. We cannot understand what a rape victim or a Nobel Prize winner feels. We associate their emotions with our own experiences; we identify and reflect on them and we find ourselves in their words. But we can’t really “understand”. This isn’t a negative thing. It’s just a natural thing. You said too "Can some of us not identify with the protest".

 

You have your own associations with Namjoo, all are legitimate and intellectual/emotional. We all appreciate art. We don’t HAVE to live through something to connect with an artistic representation of it. And I like your comparison of modern versus traditional. Of course we shouldn't be traditionalist and reject new forms just because Hafez and Saadi are great.

 

But understanding is not all about the will to want to understand or even witnessing. You see? That's what I'm saying. But I know that it isn't a criteria for appreciating music.

With respect to Namjoo, the generalization I made to Souri was that I’m hoping the older generation doesn’t change what Namjoo is or the direction he takes. I was kind of surprised at the video posted from his concert because he seemed to get a big laugh from the “funnier” lines. It was as if he was in front of a thirsty audience wanting to hear something they could roar about. And that’s all good, I would be excited too. It just made me wonder about whether they are “getting” him or just “digging” him.

 

None of what I’m saying is meant as anything negative or insulting. It’s just human nature. I hope Souri doesn’t listen to Ah Ke Intor, around 1:25, Namjoo goes totally… Namjooesque.


Darius Kadivar

On Kirk and Michael ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on


Azadeh Azad

Thanks

by Azadeh Azad on

Thank you so much IRANdokht, Ali P, AmirAshkan, Nazy and Feshangi for your comments on the translated poem.

ebi amirhosseini

Re :Can someone clarify

by ebi amirhosseini on

The reason for having gray hair at such a young agee is here:

"The eighties".

 

Biography of Mohsen Namjoo

Mohsen Namjoo was born in 1976 in a traditional Iranian family in Torbate-jam ...........

http://www.mohsennamjoo.at/web_pages/namjoo.html


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Can someone clarify

by Q=question (not verified) on

Mohsen Namjoo's age is listed as 32 in Wikipedia, is this correct? He looks a lot older than 32. He has a lot of gray hair.


Nazy Kaviani

Dear The Mrs.

by Nazy Kaviani on

Yours is an important and necessary reflection on the voice of your generation. I understand and respect it perfectly. Just as I would like the poetry lover in Souri to respect my tastes and choices, I would also ask you to read my reply to Souri and to avoid sweeping generalizations about my generation and what we do and don't understand. Considering the pains our generation has had to endure, and the mounting fears and shames and disappointments we have had to deal with, all the while looking in on our children's well-being and future, you would be surprised at what we are capable of understanding these days. Do you remember the piece I wrote on my generation?


TheMrs

translation

by TheMrs on

nice translation


Nazy Kaviani

Dear Souri

by Nazy Kaviani on

As Iranians who love and live the miracle that Persian poetry is, we might become possessive and a little obsessive with it. I so understand that and see your criticism and concern in that light.

I love Hafez. He is the man who talks directly to my heart, needing no intermediaries and no interpretations. How many times have I felt the embracing wisdom and comfort of this man through his words in my life? Too many to recount. How can a poet who says the following be ever exchanged with or replaced by anything, any other poet or any other work?

 دانی که چنگ و عود چه تقریر می‌کنند

پنهان خورید باده که تعزیر می‌کنند

ناموس عشق و رونق عشاق می‌برند

 عیب جوان و سرزنش پیر می‌کنند

جز قلب تیره هیچ نشد حاصل و هنوز

 باطل در این خیال که اکسیر می‌کنند

گویند رمز عشق مگویید و مشنوید

مشکل حکایتیست که تقریر می‌کنند
...
...

 Can Molana's beautiful and unpretentious poetry be replaced with anything else? Does anything else feel better than when you read one of his poems and really understand and relate to it?

 ای خدا این وصل را هجران مکن

سرخوشان عشق را نالان مکن

 باغ جان را تازه و سرسبز دار

 قصد این مستان و این بستان مکن

 چون خزان بر شاخ وبرگ دل مزن

 خلق را مسکین و سرگردان مکن
...
...

And how many times need I read this Sohrab poem before I get tired and jaded with the hope that keeps welling up inside my heart everytime I read it?

 روزی

 خواهم آمد و پیامی خواهم آورد

 در رگ ها نور خواهم ریخت

 وصدا در خواهم داد : ای سبدهاتان پرخواب! سیب آوردم سیب سرخ خورشید.

 خواهم آمد
...
...

 آشتی خواهم داد.

 آشنا خواهم کرد.

راه خواهم رفت.

نور خواهم خورد.

دوست خواهم داشت.

 And can anyone who ever reads this poem by Forough ever be the same afterwards?

 آن کلاغی که پرید

 از فراز سرما

و فرو رفت در اندیشه آشفته ابری ولگرد

 و صدایش همچون نیزه کوتاهی پهنای افق را پیمود

 خبر ما را با خود خواهد برد به شهر

همه می دانند

 همه می دانند

 که من و تو از آن روزنه سرد عبوس

باغ را دیدیم

و از آن شاخه بازیگر دور از دست

سیب را چیدیم
...
...

Souri Jan. I love almost all poets and almost all poetry. It is a language that speaks to me and though I am unable to reply in kind, I never get demoralized about that love and deep affection for it.

What is wrong with being eclectic in our taste, adoring Hafez and loving young poets, too? Is it impossible to like different poetry from different eras? Can I not define that love in any which way I like?

I seek my wisdom, advice, hope, and optimism from Hafez, but can I not seek my identity, my pains and vows, my disappointments and fears and hopes also in Namjoo's poetry which speaks today's language for me?  Can I not try and make sense of the senseless, listening to his screams of pain and confusion as though those screams are also escaping my lips?

Can some of us not identify with the protest, the anger, and the pain that Namjoo and his generation felt and are now old enough to convey to the rest of us?  Would understanding and loving and respecting Namjoo and other poets of his generation somehow negate our lifelong devotion and attachment to Molana and Forough?

I doubt it would.  I stand by the words I said about what Namjoo's poem so beautifully and wholeheartedly translated by Azadeh, does to my soul.

My last thought on this unfortunately long comment about something which is dear to my heart is that our generation has to be receptive and encouraging to the generation that is right behind us, comforting and receiving it to open up and to say what it needs to say.  I went to the Namjoo concert with my two sons, 19 and 22.  They "dig" Namjoo, and if I am to be able to relate to the generation behind that of Namjoo's, namely my sons', I will have to stay tuned to the cumulative agony Iranian youth have had to endure for the past 30 years right after our generation got done with having "a happy childhood," the last generation of contemporary Iranians to do so. 

I dig Namjoo, Souri Jan, I do. 


Souri

Misunderstanding

by Souri on

Dear ebi,

There is a misunderstanding here or misinterpretation.

I don't protest his kind of poetry, although I used it as an example here.
What make me angry is when he is compared to a national hero and his
poetry is taken at a high value as he is Pablo Neruda or Che guevara,
himself.

Actually, from what I have heard about him, Namjoo himself, has not any pretention of all this and he is a very humble artist who loves his country.

I always said, and repeat here, that I am not against him or his work at all, even if I don't understand his art. Not because I don't understand him much, that means I am against him or his work.

What I am fighting against, is to make a "bot" from someone, who is not and has no pretention of being it.

I am sorry also about the word "arbadeh" ...I know it was exaggerated.
Don't know how to say it in English or a tender word in Farsi. My
apologies to all "Namjoo" lovers here.

Please do consider that all my
objection in all those other blogs, were always about one thing: That
he is not a symbol of anti-IRI political resistance. If people accept
to not exaggerate too much about this aspect of his work, who am I to
contest about anything else ?

You are right, for sure Forough got too many objection, when she wrote about "cinemaaye Fardin" and "taghsime pepsi kola" in her poetry, now it became digestive for all...and Namjoo follow her by talking about Kirk Douglas and Seven up.

As Bruce said about Namjoo, his technique is new and people take
time to adapt themselves to this new art. This maybe the case for me
too. Maybe not. Maybe I will never get used to it, but anyway I do
respect the artists who works hard.

All I say from the beginning is, let not exaggerate about someone, something which is dear to us, for the fear of the negative effect.

 


IRANdokht

Dear Souri

by IRANdokht on

I don't believe anyone has the intention to force feed you anything.

There are a number of people on this site who like Namjoo, enjoy his music, know his lyrics by heart and are celebrating the fact that they are able to see their favorite artist perform live.

I have mentioned before that I am not a Namjoo fan but I think it's due to some hangups I may still have regarding voice, lyrics etc... which Ali P also mentioned and apparently he thinks it's due to me being an old geezer :0)

But I am enjoying the fact that so many people I care about are excited in a positive way and blog about him, discuss him and his concert, post his lyrics, translate them and share it with us. I find this a positive experience .

To go to every blog that's about him and send a negative vibe is just too invasive and comes across a little too hostile. Why make such a big effort keh koofteshoon konim??

live and let live dear

IRANdokht


ebi amirhosseini

Dear Souri,with all due respect...

by ebi amirhosseini on

Since I am a die heart fan of Namjoo & have followed all your critics about him here & there , I think it is time to defend him dear.

Still there are poeple who don't think Nima,Shamloo,Forough(who most of us on this site love dearly) can be called poets& call their writings "Sher o Ver",since they are still caught in their Faoolan faoolan... of traditonal poetry(most of lecturers at faculty of humanities at Tehran university are among them),can we blame them for their opinion,definitely not.Bob Dylan was never understood at first in America,untill he performed in London,his lyrics were so different that still there are different interpretations for them.So,in my humble opinion why should you be so concerned by all the support Namjoo is receiving on this site?! a lot of us are following his music since mid 90's.Nobody here is trying to make you love him,not Nazy,K... or anybody else for that matter.If you search a bit in music & culture of Khorassan & kerman,you will definately understand what he means by "pokhtan taryaak...." & you won't call it "Guitar with the Arbadeh"! I never excpected you to use such a low terminology,to me that's an insult to poeple who listen to his music,including me.

I know you'll understand that I don't mean any disrespect for you & hope you respect his fans & if you don't like him,please don't read all the exaggerated posts about him.

best wishes

sepaas


Souri

Nazy Kaviani

by Souri on

The children of revolution and war and rations and incomprehensible
events are now telling their tale and Namjoo is one voice of many who are telling it, and a good, powerful, and moving voice it is. The
sadness and shock of those years travels through his poetry and sits in
my heart.

I feel sorry for us. I don't want to personalize this content, but
really my dear, your comment about Namjoo, made me feeling so sad and
sorry for the kind of people we became here in the west.

We have great Iranian poets, who described all those sadness and pain so beautifully in a very great and "salees" Persian words, and also in a
very fluent English, for us in this same site. They never get more than
a few 2/3 encouragement, or sometimes zero !

But as soon as someone comes from Iran, with a poem written in mixed-farsi,
mixed-satire, mixed-sadness, we applaud them and put them high without
asking ourselves, what is he saying really ? What is he doing
with our language, our poetry ?

What kind of poem is his work ? Is this a satiristic cry or is that a serious poetry about the miseries his generation endure during the 30 years of oppression ?

ASking him about the relationship between "pokhtan taryaak" and all those
pain. About Douglas, changing from Kirk to Michael, what is its
relation with the IRI's oppression and discrimination ? Kirk Douglas, comes here just to help him to rhyme the words as "Yagheh cherk az Imaan".....etc etc etc.

What is so great about this artist, poet, singer (I don't know what to call
him) a National hero !! Is that his words, which are so exceptional, so exciting, or is that the Guitar with the Arbadeh ? Which one is so great and wonderful in your eyes ?

My dear Nazi, apple is apple, orange is orange. One can not force-feeding me about him by your beautiful words.


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TAZAHOORAT ??

by Maziar 58 (not verified) on

DK jan, Dag Hammarskjold is from here to there..... one street block(BET 1st & 2nd) And the mercedes 500's goes from 0 to 60 in less than 5 second,
not to be nagging or negative about it BUT seriously it take a lot more than that ! believe me.

vive l'Iran


Feshangi

Azadeh jan

by Feshangi on

Beautifully translated. Thank you.  

Feshangi


Darius Kadivar

Dear IRANdokht

by Darius Kadivar on

I understand better. Anyway it was just a suggestion. I simply heard that Aghdashloo is supposed to join the rally. If she does all the better. I just think that Nazanin deserves more support from the Iranian Diaspora for what she is doing and those Artists who are in the public eye could make a difference by joining in a peaceful and non violent demonstration. At least that is the intentions of the rally as I understand it.

A Bon Entendeur Salut ...

D

PS: No problem I often make silly mistakes in French too to my mother's despair.  LOL.  


IRANdokht

Dear DK

by IRANdokht on

I meant the protest in NY is against IRI president. SCE is a human rights advocate but the protest is planned to show contempt towards the actions of IRI and Ahmadinejad.

Pleanty of Iranian artists come to US and go back to Iran after their tour: Shajarian, Mastan and most likely Namjoo, to name a few... Googoosh is not planning on going back to Iran and is a resident of Canada and US at this time.

I hope I am clearer now.

IRANdokht

PS: just FYI, the use of the verb: assister, is different in French vs English. I made the same error once and an english teacher laughed at me which made it stick in my mind: The verb : assister does not translate to english as: to assist. It translates as: to attend. To assist means helping. Just trying to help using my own experience :0) I hope I didn't offend you by suggesting this little correction.


Darius Kadivar

I agree Irandokht I did not say the contrary but ...

by Darius Kadivar on

I agree that Iranians with family in Iran may be concerned But SCE is not an Anti IRI organization but a Human Rights advocate. I do not see the parrallel you seem to suggest ? 

Are Googoosh, Kiosk or Namjo Legal in Iran after all the concerts they have done in the US supported by Iranian.com ( filtered in Iran) ? 

How come assisting to Googoosh's concert in Madison Square Garden with the Presence of members of the Royal Family was not a problem for all the Iranians in NY but supporting a non politically affiliated rally regarding Human Rights Violations is problematic ?

 

 


IRANdokht

Dear DK

by IRANdokht on

I think asking people whose primary residence is in Iran to participate in an anti-IRI protest is too high of an expectation and even an imposition.

I know a lot of Iranians who are not even traveling to Iran anymore who are not supporting human rights activists! Maybe we should start soliciting their support first.

IRANdokht


Darius Kadivar

Any Chances of Seeing him At Nazanin's Demo in NY ?

by Darius Kadivar on

Just wondering if Namjoo and Kiosk could support Nazanin Afshin Jam's Campaign in any capacity , concert etc. Maybe Beyond Persia could organize this somehow.

see SCE Blog on the demonstration held in Front of the UN:

 http://iranian.com/main/blog/sce-campaign/ahmadinejad-will-face-wall-shame-un

The rally will run from 12-2pm on September 23rd at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza (47th St. & 2nd Ave.) and feature Iranian/American groups each directly challenging Ahmadinejad on the surge in human rights abuses in Iran.

 

 


Nazy Kaviani

Dear Azadeh

by Nazy Kaviani on

A meaningful poem translated beautifully and eloquently by another sensitive poet. Can it get any better than this? The wounds and shocks and cries of that generation are only just beginning to come out and be heard by all those who missed it during the early years of Islamic Republic and all the years of war. The children of revolution and war and rations and incomprehensible events are now telling their tale and Namjoo is one voice of many who are telling it, and a good, powerful, and moving voice it is. The sadness and shock of those years travels through his poetry and sits in my heart. Thank you for delivering the message faithfully and poignantly my sensitive friend. I did nothing deserving of the credit, as it is your heart that did the job. Thank you.


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Why?

by Translator (not verified) on

Why didn't I think of that?


AmirAshkan Pishroo

The larger-than-life hero

by AmirAshkan Pishroo on

I always envy poets.

Me too, Irandoxt. This is because the moral prophets of humanity have always been poets.

This poem discusses what time had done to people. Namjoo manages to debunk authority, teachers, class-mates, "the spirit of proletarian world",
and "the girl named Nell" by turning them into his fellow sufferers: "We suffered so much in these thirty years/Only to have suffered."

But unfortunately he goes on setting himself up as authority, failing to debunk the ambitions of the powerful without sharing them.

What powerful? Those who are claiming to know a truth which was hidden from the rest of us.

What ambition? The ambitious idea that there is a privileged perspective, standpoint, from which he describes the past, not of his own idiosyncratic past but of a larger past, the past of human, the nation, the culture.

If Namjoo had confined his poem to his own idiosyncratic past, he would have been one of the greatest poets who ever lived, and this poem would have been a masterpiece.

For it would have privatized Namjoo's attempt at autonomy-- a criterion that distinguishes artist from politician--and would have repudiated the temptation to think he had affiliated himself with something larger than life; a temptation that runs the risk of what Heidegger calls "relapsing into metaphysician," a realm through which the larger-than-life heroes run their course.

Fantastic translation, Azad.

 


Ali P.

The day things changed

by Ali P. on

   Our parents and grandparents put up a significant fight against "she'r eh no"(new style poetry), because it didn't fit their idea of "poetry". The "new style" struggled but survived and now it is here to stay. I enjoy the new style, as well as the old style poetry.

   As I was reading Mr. Namjoo's lyrics in Persian ( I believe posted by IRANdokht or Nazi Kaviani), and as much as I liked the whole presentation,  one vulgar word- about the girl next door- took me aback. I am just not used to read vulgarity in poetry, unless it is humor or satire, such as those masterfully done by Hadi Khorsandi.

  Azadeh has done a superb job tranlating this, staying true to the original. Who knows, maybe this is a new trend, and is here to stay, and someone needs to tell me, like they told our parents and grandparents some 60 years ago:" The change is coming. Get used to it, you old geezer!"

:-)

Ali P.


IRANdokht

beautifully done

by IRANdokht on

I always envy poets who can cause and convery so many emotions with their words. Translating someone else's poems is even harder to do and Azadeh jan you have done a magnificent job of it!

Thank you 

IRANdokht

PS: my contribution was minimal of course, you humbled me with the credit you gave me my dear.