No Heroes and Saviors

Siavash Kasrai's "Scarlet Stone” opening in San Diego and Angeles


No Heroes and Saviors
by Bibi Kasrai

Legend has it that on the night of his encounter with Tahmineh, Rostam gave Tahmineh a stone and told her that if her child were a girl to adorn her headband with this stone and if it were a son, to adorn his armband with it.


Mohreye Sorkh or the “Scarlet Stone” was my father - Siavash Kasrai’s last epic poem and one that is less known to Iranians than his first one - Arash Kamangir. He wrote this poem in the darkest days of his bitter separation from the country he loved most- Iran.

As harsh as it was, it is this separation however that gave him the perspective needed to ponder upon the meaning of his own aspirations and inspirations; the strength needed to analyze his generation, its heroism and its heights as well as its shortcomings and failures. He learned the hard way that replacing one’s wisdom with one’s youthful infatuation could be dangerous and lead to treacherous paths.

Arash was the tale of a young hero who gave his life at the height of his youth to preserve the boundaries of his country. Mohreye Sorkh is the life lessons of a mature thinker who bares himself in front of the mirror to give courage to others to do the same. In Mohreye Sorkh, there are no heroes and saviors. We are all heroes in charge of saving our own lives and humanity as a result.

In the opening scene of Mohreye Sorkh, the young Sohrab is lying in his own blood, agonizing and waiting for Rostam to bring the “noush daroo”- the cure. In his agony, a plethora of characters come to his mind and he holds a dialog with each one of them.

First is his mother, Tahmineh who retells him the story of her short romance with Rostam... then comes Gordafarid, the “unnecessary lover” whom he met for such a fleeting moment and who vanished... then Rostam the father who fails in recognizing the son despite so many signs... Finally from afar comes the Hakim- Ferdowsi himself- the one whose pen shaped the Book of Kings. Sohrab starts to question his wisdom: “why o why you the wisest of men would you allow yourself to write about a father who kills his son?” many have asked this question over the centuries but Kasrai’s answer is something that makes you ponder many layers of our cultural heritage, background and baggage and one that is very germane to what is going on in today’s Iran and the Middle East. I won’t give you the answer because there isn’t one for all, so I encourage you to read this poem or come and see it if you are in San Diego (Nov. 19) or Los Angeles (Dec 10 and 11).

The cast that the director Shahrokh Yadegari of UCSD has gathered to present this work is unique and one that we as a community should be very proud of. He has gathered a multi-generational cast of the best of the best that the Iranian Diaspora has to offer.

Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam is not only the choreographer but he also plays a tragic Sohrab. Afshin Mofid, the son of Bijan Mofid and a former star of the NY ballet plays Rostam. For the first time, a woman is playing the role of Ferdowsi and this woman happens to be the first female Shahnameh Storyteller- Gordafarid.

Our community will witness the premiere of a young yet powerful modern dancer in a Persian play and that dancer is no other than Ida Saki. Miriam Peretz who is not of Persian decent is rendering the most sensual Tahmineh you have ever seen on stage.

Kasrai is not with us to see these young people who weren’t even in their cradles when he wrote Arash, but the “poet of Hope” had no doubt that this day will come because he had faith in the youth of his beloved Iran. Great poets don’t need advocates, publicists, and promoters as the meaning of their sacred message is safeguarded in the heart of their nation.


Red Wine


by Red Wine on

بی‌بی خانم جان،چقدر جالب به پارسی نبشتی و چقدر سنگین آوازه مطلب را ترجمه
کردی،ما که لذت برده و آن را دو بار خواندیم و حتمأ کمی‌ دیرتر آن را بازخوانی
خواهیم کرد.

جدا از مطلبِ زیبایِ نوشته شده از جانبِ پدرِ بزرگوارتان،دلمان می‌خواهد
هنرنمایی شاهرخ خان را شاهد باشیم،برایِ ما ایشان از خواکیم کرتز نیز بالاتر

دستِ تان طلا و تنتان بی‌ بلا.


For those who asked for a Farsi version (with some changes )

by bibi on

مهره سرخ؛ آخرین شعر حماسی پدرم - سیاوش کسرایی- است. این شعر، در مهاجرت تلخی که همه ما ایرانی ها آن را تحمل می کنیم، سروده شد، و به دلیل دوری او از طن، مانند حماسه "آرش کمانگیر" دهان به دهان نشد و به شهرتی نرسید که در خور آنست. می گویم دهان به دهان، زیرا آرش کمانگیر نیز در آن سالهای دور، در چنان وسعتی که در خور آن بود، چاپ و منتشر نشد، اما دهان به دهان، رفت به کهکشان آرزوهای حماسی مردم ایران. بنابراین، اگر از ناشناخته ماندن مهره سرخ می گویم، سخنی به نادرست نگفته ام>>> more



Very much looking forward to this play

by aynak on


And yes, hopefully one day soon in Iran as well dear Bibi.   I am glad and it is a great sign of hope for me to see such play is created and hopefully films to follow.  

سیاوش کسرایی


Be roooye Chashm

by bibi on

Doost Aziz-

Hatman in kar ra khaham kard. Tarjomeh ra niz zamimeh khaham kard. ba sepas va dorood. 

Red Wine


by Red Wine on

کاش بارِ دگر به پارسی بنگارید .

با سپاس .



Thanks again.

by bibi on

Roozabeh Jan-


I was very nervous myself not to tarnish my father's memory, in case someone took a shot at me but I really do thank the readers of and dear Jahanshah for this kind and generous treatment....My father belonged to all of you and lives in you all.  


Poet of Hope", and his "faith in people"

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

Only very seldom on this site, one gets treated with such a beatifully written blog about such a decent compatriot poet of ours who wrote for the people and their cause.

Thank you very much for sharing. 

"Personal business must yield to collective interest."


Beautifully written

by Mehrban on

What a great introduction to the performance and what a beautiful blog in its own right.   Skillfully weaving the threads of Iran's history, its mythology your fathers life and his poetry punctuated by two amazing epic poems.  Well done Bibi.

Your father will live as a treasure in Iran's cultural memory for ever.  


Have waited all these years!

by Ghahremani on

Bibi Jan:

Remember the day you and your mom brought me the book? I told you then and I'm telling you now, this is a subject for a great Opera! I will never forget how we read the poem together and God only knows how many times I've read it. It will be an honor to see it with you and I look forward to it. Thanks for writing this blog.


hamsade ghadimi

بلاگ بسیار

hamsade ghadimi

بلاگ بسیار جالبی‌ بود بی‌بی خانوم. مشتاق دیدار این نمایش هستم. امیدوارم که ملت ما (تک تک ما) هم مانند پدر شما از تجربه کشیدهٔ تاریخی‌مان عبرت بگیرند و از این طرز تفکر قهرمان پرستی‌ (چه آرش، چه شاه، چه مصدق) امتناع کنند و به راه‌های سودمندتری دست بزنند.




by bibi on


 Ba sepassi dobareh az tamami shoma ke lotf darid. Omidvaram ke roozi in kare bavar nakardani ra dar vatane azizeman Iran bebinim.

Thank you dear friends. I hope that one day, we will have the chance to see this amazing piece in our beloved country- iran. 


Thank you Bibi jon

by Souri on

I am so proud of you. You are following your father's way, in a best way. It is great that our very talented artists have taken this important responsibility to revive Siavash's great hamaseh of "mohreh sorkh"....

I am very excited about this piece and hope I will be able to see it in our area, very soon. The participation of Gordafarid is also a great treat.

Mohreh Sorkh is so meaningful, like all other works of our dear Siavash, the true heroic poet of our history

پور و پدر برابر و بیگانگی شگفت

با صد نشان که بر رخ و بالاست
نشناختم تو را
نشناختی مرا
این پرده پوش شعبده گر چشم بند کیست
این کوری از کجاست ؟



آری شکست گرچه درین جنگ ننگ بود

اما به روز واقعه
آن نابه کار خنگ خرد نیز لنگ بود
تدبیر بسته لب
از هر کرانه راه به تقدیر باز کرد
رستم چه کور بود که گم باد نام او
دستی به آشتی نگشاده
خود جنگ ساز کرد

دشمن گرفت پاره جان را و با فریب
پهلوی او درید

اما چه شوم تر به مکافات خود رسید
وای از من پلید
کین بسته بود در به دلم با هزار قفل
دریغا ز یک کلید

Anahid Hojjati

Dear Bibi, Thanks for a great article

by Anahid Hojjati on

Dear Bibi, upon reading the title, I had the question in my mind that why no heroes when talking about work of Siavash Kasraii. Your article answered my question.  I am curious to read how Sohrab's question is answered. Thanks for your article about this important work of a beloved poet, and its coming on stage by a talented group. Hopefully we get to see this performance in the Bay area in near future.

Nazy Kaviani

Thank you!

by Nazy Kaviani on

Thank you for this very nice piece, Ms. Kasrai. Your father indeed remains Iran's poet of hope. I am glad to know that a group of very special artists are going to appear in a play based on his poem. I met the director, Shahrokh Yadegari, and some of the principles up here a few months ago, and knew then that something really exciting is afoot. I can't wait to see the play up here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Thanks again for the "mojdeh!"