Sunday Poem

On the Pavement
Ahmad Shamlou

My unseen friends
are like falling stars
Such landed on the stabbed
heart of the earth
that I said the Earth
will forever be left
with no blaze
will forever be left
a darkened night


And then
Who was I?
The silent owl,
trapped in a nest
of his own inert


I put away
my lyre and its broken string,
I took up a lantern
and stepped into the road,
moving around the lane
Singing: “Behold!
Look out of the window!
Behold the blood
all over the pavement!”

“You can see the blood
is from the opened veins of the Sun
Don’t you hear the heartbeat of the Sun
from every drop?”


A cool breeze hastily passed
Over the sleepers on that cold ground
And ousted the forsaken nest of the crows
From the heights of the old fig tree.

“The Sun is alive
in this gloomy dark
though the dimness of the limbs of night,
penetrates all bits of the hateful route,
The Sun is yet all gorge, all tongue.
The steady song of the Sun
The hymn of its heart
is clearer than every other night!

Look out of the window!”


Look out of the window!
Behold the blood all over the pavement!
Look at the pavement!”


The blossoms of the Sun
grew again
next to the old vine
in the old Garden.
The lanterns of the stars
hang again
from the tresses of the trees
with the Sun in passage.


I came back;
and hope was flowing in my veins
my heart was beating fast.

I repaired the broken lyre.
And with the strings of my songs
And the refrains of my chants
Then I ornamented the closed mouth of my friends
with the smile of triumph:
“Listen! The blood of the Dawn
is flowing on the dimness of the pavement.
Behold the drops of blood!
Behold from the closed window:
It now begins the ritual dance
of the Sun and the Dawn here
on the pavement!
Behold! The ritual dance of the
Sun and the Dawn
On the pavement
now begins!”

Translation: Maryam Dilmaghani