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از محمدرضا رستمی

رودی ام گاهی به پایین، گه به بالا میروم/ گه یمین و گه یسار، آخر به دریا میروم

ماهی آزادم و از جنس اقیانوس ها/ میهمان برکه ام امروز و فردا میروم

چینه ای از نازک یخ، روی رود قلب من/ چین دیوارش ترک برداشت، حالا میروم

چون زمرد هر قدم بر شیشه ی قلبم نهاد/ سنگ بود و شیشه بشکست و به یغما میروم

چشم هایش آسمان و گیسوان امواج نور/ یک فرشته اهل دور و گفت از اینجا میروم

دردهایم اشک شد، فریاد هایم بی صدا/ لؤلؤ چشمش به من می دوزد اما میروم

زوزه ی باد جوانی در سرم در گوش هام/ آتش است این سینه و در سوز و سرما میروم

تو تمامی منی، انگار دنیایم شدی/ تو نباشی نیستم، از دار دنیا میروم

ای تو بانوی مسافر، راحل تنهای شب/ خواستی تنها بمانم با تو من، ما میروم

میروم تا آن جزیره، قصر الماسی مان/ آفتاب آنجا نشسته، من همانجا میروم

By Mohammadreza Rostrami and translated by Mohammadreza Rostrami and Jack Verschoyle

I am a river river river going down, going up further,

Going right but sometimes left. To the sea I will leave

I am a free fish; a Salmon made of the ocean.

A guest in the lake today – tomorrow I will leave

A shell of ice stands stark on the river – the river of my heart.

Its fluted wall is cracked. So now I will leave

She stepped onto my glassy heart. She stood on it like beryl shards

Like a stone. She broke it. So empty, my heart, it leaves

Her eye is the sky and her hair is every skewed wave of light.

She was an angel from a foreign creed. She has spoken. She will leave

My pain has sent me tears. My cries are turning silently

from the needle. She has sewn her pearls to me, but I will leave

A wind is howling in my ears, in my proud head.

There is a fire in my chest. In embers of cold I will leave

You are everything to me – my every part and counterpart.

If you go, I will be no more – from me, the world will take its leave

Hey you! Pilgrim lady! Night immigrant of the lonely!

You have asked me to be alone but only “we” can leave

I will leave to an island, to our castle carved in diamond.

Where the sun is setting! From here to there – I will leave

On the Poem

River, by Mohammadreza Rostami, is in the form of a classical Persian lyric. It has a melody and metre unique to the Persian language, characterised by using similarly long and short syllables throughout each verse (that has become a couplet in the translation). The first hemistich (half of a line) of the first verse and the second hemistich of all verses have the same ending word (‘Radif’ in Persian, or 'I will leave’, in English). Also, the syllables of the words before ‘Radif’ are all of a similar upward inflecting "/َAa/“-sound. Īhām is one of the important literary techniques employed in this form of lyric, which means that each sentence or word has a second, deeper meaning that is less clear. This is often impossible to portray in English. For example, in the first verse (that has been translated as "Going right but sometimes left”) the Persian word for right, just like the English word, has the quality of concerning goodness as well as direction. But, unlike the English word, the Persian word for left has, much more immediately, the quality of concerning evil as well as direction.

Mohammadreza Rostami (Reza) is a Physicist at TUM and is based in Munich. He is from Iran and his native language is Persian. He writes mostly classic poems and songs in Persian and publishes them on his Instagram and webpage (@mr2_mohammadrezarostami).

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