Friday, June 29, 2007

His Stone Is Diamond

I found the following piece of translation few weeks ago. It dates back to 20 February 2004. One of my ostaads had asked me to translate it from Persian into English in my leisure time. But it remained unfinished. "Sange Man - Almas" is one of the most representative pieces by Askar Hakim, a kind of poetic autobiography, worthwhile to be read.

The translation has not been edited and/or corrected, hence, not immune to lapses:

Askar Hakim

My stone is diamond

Who am I?
A tree-like human
My roots are entrenched
in the heart of the village’s water,
My branches are green
on the trunk of the city.
Rooted up of myself,
How to be engrafted into another?

I am not able to take
The golden paw of my roots with me
To make it green in the new land.
My branches and leaves are a heavy burden
For these thin roots in the sand.
Oh, I feel a fear of hurricane.

Let us leave the talk on the storm for a while,
Although every moment of my life
is full of squalls.

I became civilized,
I am a burgess, I mean.

All my friends from childhood
Left behind in the village.

But I visit the village
Once a year though, with swallows
Just to walk in the vineyards
Seeking Mother’s embrace,
Just to talk to the spring as I used to my sister
And to say: “Hello, brother!” to the tallest white poplar,
To embrace as my granny
The old trunk of mulberry
And to lay on a pillow of a hard stone,
As hard as my childhood,
Just to sleep…

Then to find myself surrounded
By a carpet of apricot flowers
And to see a nimble swallow
Building a nest on the ceiling.

Once our roof hosted pigeons
Flying and babbling with them,
Filling the house with a song
And the song was a subject of the law of the morning.

There was a piece of green land
Right behind the roof of the doves
Full of bats swooping on moths.
When the sky was dark above,
We as children used to run
Throwing our caps above
In the hope to catch a bat…

Once I hurled my cap to the sky,
Strengthened by a strong desire.
The cap caught on Pleiades’ ear.
Thereafter I lost my fear.

Now I still can walk on Earth,
But my head is beyond the Moon.

I like to deal with words and pen,
And I love to plough an autumn land,
But now deprived of a land and a plough,
I scribble this leaf
As ploughing a land
To see on it a sudden green plant,
Wheat or a barley stalk,
At least for an ant
From this pen-ploughed land.

I love the eruption of peach flowers
And bee’s affection to apple-flower – his bride,
That impregnates her just with a sweetest kiss
And I water the bride with my pen on the leaf.

I like the honey-moon kiss of a bee
Taken from the lips of a flower,
With a honey ending of it.

There is a lesson to learn
From this sweet-bearing small creature:
To sting just for joy
And to die from the sin of innocence,
If there is another purpose.

In my book sometimes I have nothing –
Neither honey, nor bee and nor apple.
Just few pale withered leaves, alas.

I would like to see limpid drops of dew
- thirsty to join the Sun’s spring –
not to be beholden to a leaf for its favour.

I wish every drop of a sea to perceive
That a sea is dependent on drops,
That the drops have created the seas.

I was born in the year of the Dog,
And the month of the Scales.
My affection and faith is from the year,
From the month I’ve received sense of justice.

My stone is diamond.

Nothing common between a diamond and a glass,
My stone is consisted of the smoke of smouldered hearts.
From blue to green, from white to red it changes though sometimes,
However, it is limpid and sparkles with crystal shines.

The sparkle of its blaze is derived from my heart-light.

My heart is my temple,
The Islamic “al-Hamd” on my tongue everyday
I pray
With the breathes of Christ
And the faith of Judah
With the lenience borrowed from Buddha
I pray to every creature with a belief in its heart.

I pray to keep green
The root of my faith
By God, who keeps you green.
I pray to the clouds in the sea of the heavens
To convey my benediction to the Sun.

If we say that the heavens have the water of blessing,
We should add that it covers not only the flowers,
And it pours not only on cypresses and basils,
And it waters not only raspberries…

We should know that the water of blessing is for thorns too,
And it pours on camel nettles and mote thistles as well.

Thorn is despised in a lawn,
If beside it a rose has been shown.

If you see a thorn-bundle on a short wall,
Touch wood.

Touch wood,
If you see a raven singing songs
Or a bat’s eyes acquainted with the Sun
Or a trap breaking itself to free a prey

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