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)

Being

Agonizing,
irresistible,
mysterious and filled with hidden secrets,
is creation;
and all that
makes being possible. 

Poem by Margot Bickel, translated from German to Farsi by Ahmad Shamlou. English translation by NikNaz Kahnamoui