Sunday, June 30, 2013

Persian Poetry Sunday


Because earlier this week I mentioned the poet Attar in my post about Neyshabur, here is a excerpt from his epic poem Conference of the Birds

A lion-hearted hero met defeat-
Five years he loved, and slavery was sweet.
The girl for whom he was content to sigh
Had one small blemish lurking in her eye,
And though, as often as she would permit,
He gazed at her he never noticed it.
(How could a man possessed by frenzy see 
This unimportant, faint deformity?)
Then imperceptibly love ceased to reign; 
A balm was found to ease his aching pain-
The girl and all her blandishments
Became a matter of indifference;
And now the blemish in her eye was clear-
He asked her, "When did that white speck appear?"
She answered, "As your love began to die,
This speck was brought to being in my eye."
How long will others' faults distract your mind?
Your own accuse you, but your heart is blind.
Your sins are heavy, and while they are there,
Another's guilt is none of your affair. 

-Farid ud-Din Attar 
translated by Afkham Darbandi and Dick Davis


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