October 15, 2010

The Martyr


Look how vast
his sheltering shade
spreads on the Earth
with humility
and with glory!

His hands
alike the branches of
the Holy Tree of Life
glows with the light of love.

His fearless revolt,
his far reaching revlot,
burned the gates of Hell
shook the walls of Hell.

Hi Death,
not from the cold lame of the awaiting razor blades
Or the sentinl of the poisoned swords:
His death landed on his shoulders,
like the spring's last sparrow,
from his smoky cloud of sorrow
running behind him for years.

And that fortress of might,
his Heart,
the Heart whose key,
the candid verse of amity,
collapsed onto itself,
But never fell apart.


In the era of forceful negation of love
entwined with himself,
with his captive voice:
He such became, himself,
The Anthem of Love.

And he such became,
he such became himself:
The Elegy of Love.


Look how chaste
Look how vast
he streams on the Earth
with humility and with glory!
And he such engraves
the effigy of nobility and of truth
on the heart of the rocks!

Look how pure he fades away in the Sea
with humility and with glory!

And look how gracious he kneels in front of your thighs
with humility and with glory!

His death was the birthday of so very many Knights.

---By Ahmad Shamlou
-Translation: Maryam Dilmaghani
The poem's original title translates as: "The Birth of the one who lovingly died on the Earth". It was first published in the anthology Abraham in Fire 1973, Tehran.

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