Zendegee (Life)

A little while ago, a stranger, whose name I don’t even know, a gentle soul who had come across my site, sent me a message with a link, asking me to translate ada2e1-shadows specific poem she loves from Farsi to English. The poem is by Margot Bickel and was translated by Ahmad Shamlou from German to Farsi. A few of Shamlou’s Farsi interpretive translations of Bickel’s work have inspired me in my paintings and I have translated them to English to display them alongside each other. So, responding to this request was definitely something that I gladly undertook. I hope this translation does the original poem justice and that Gentle Soul appreciates it.

Before my last exhale,
Before the curtain falls,
Before the last flower wilts,

I intend to live fully,
I intend to love without inhibition,
I intend to be.

In this cruel world,
In this era steeped in hatred and grudge,
In this age filled with disasters,

I want to be in the presence of those who need me,
Whom I need,
Who are worthy of reverence.

So that I can discover,
Be mesmerized,
And understand anew,

All that I am,
All that I can be,
All that I want to be.

So that the days don’t pass me by in meaningless void,
The hours become alive,
And the moments gain significance.

When I laugh,
When I cry,
When I am silent,
I am journeying towards you,
Towards myself,
Towards the divine.

For it is an unknown path,
Full of thorns,
And ebbs and flows.
A path that upon taking,
Upon which I have already stepped foot,
There is no return,

Until I have seen the blossoming of the flowers,
Until I have heard the rivers roar,
Until I have been awed by the beauty of life.

Now death can find me,
Now I can carry on with the journey,
Now I can say that I have lived.

(Farsi to English translation by NikNaz K. Original Poem by Margot Bickel in German, translated to Farsi by Ahmad Shamlou)

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