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Green Delusion - VIEW THE POEM

I wept all day to my mirror
spring had given my window away
to the green delusion of trees
how cramped I was in my cocoon alone
my crown of paper mildewed
and polluting the air of that sunless realm

Alone and lonely, her vision caged in the vastness of a mirror, transformed by the bitterness of dreams become nightmares, a woman also a poet-feels terrorized in this poem. In her cocoon of loneliness, her sense of success turns into failure. Overwhelmed by an agonizing feeling of emptiness, transfixed, and immobilized, she has no safe place to run away to. The transparency of her nightmares has invaded every inch of the mirror and, with it, the most inaccessible hiding places of her mind. She cannot seek refuge in oblivion, in lies, in deceits, in denials, behind the safe solitude of her eyelids. Kept awake by the glaring eyes of the mirror, she cannot take shelter in dreams. Surveying her life, going from room to room, from memory to memory, from experience to experience, she finds herself empty-handed.
When she looks in the mirror, she sees the face of a lonely woman looking back at her-two large eyes that stay open, see too much, and refuse to lie; two open eyes that pour out tears all day long and still cannot wash away the pain. This colossal pain stares back at her like the blinding sun, a pain so terrible that no kind mirror should ever remember it. But who said mirrors have to be kind? You look at them for too long, and they open up old wounds-wounds that had closed in on themselves to alleviate the pain; wounds that, through layers upon layers of forgetfulness, had covered what was hidden underneath. That is the way it is with mirrors.
Under the dislocating influences of such a revealing and unkind mirror, in the harsh clarity of its spring-filled surface, nature's rejuvenation stirs up in this lonely woman the torrential enumerations of pent-up nostalgias. In the ritual marriage of the new year with the new sun, with herself in front of a mirror like a woman during her wedding ritual, she has to witness the absence of her "other half." She is a bride without the groom: only half of what she considers an entity. With the onset of spring and the Iranian new year, in the season of birth and growth, she has to listen to her barrenness finding voice in the silence of the mirror. Loneliness blossoms all around her like spring flowers. Solitude buds. Sorrow burgeons. Silence, the hollow and long-lasting echo of the silence surrounding her, lingers in her ears and contrasts sharply with the reverberations of sounds coming from children playing in the street. Walled in, she watches the draining out of hope, the terror of illusions gone sour, the murder of dreams.
"Green Delusion" is a window thrown open to spring but also to the miseries of a woman poet. Although a hymn to motherhood, to woman's body as a source of nurturance and creativity, the whole poem resounds with frightful contradictions and contrasts: an inner autumnal melancholy against an outer regenerative spring, forces of song against silence, gestation against decay, success against failure. Here, in this mirror, a poet's long-cherished dreams are slain by facts. Here, in this jungle of regrets and retributions, a woman has to surrender to shattered ideals. Silent and listless, she has to awaken to the bitter reality of her betrayed dreams, the sacrifices she has to make, the loneliness she has to face. Trapped in the cocoon of her own making, all she can do is cry all day to her mirror.

Veils and Words (the emerging voices of Iranian women writers) page 69 
Farzaneh Milani 


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