Birth - VIEW
THE POEM IN ENGLISH | VIEW
THE POEM IN FARSI
My whole being is a dark chant
That perpetuating you
Will carry you to the dawn
Of eternal growths and blossomigs.
"Another Birth" begins with the speaker's
momentarily enigmatic declaration that "My whole being is a dark chant."
In the original Persian, the word that "chant" translates is ayeh,
which denotes a verse in the Koran, Allah's very words to humankind.
As described in chapter 2, Farrokhzad uses the word ayeh to achieve
powerful irony in "Earthly Verses," in which her ayehs (verses) are
not heaven-sent or prophetic of eternal bliss, but are rather descriptive
of the loveless depths to which humans can sink. In the first line
of "Another Birth," the translation substitutes "chant" for ayeh to
give a religious cast to the image, although no close English equivalent
for ayeh exists. In fact Farrokhzad intended by the term to communicate
an impression of something indestructible, such as the words of Allah
as recorded in Koranic verses. "Chant" may likewise connote indestructibility.
More importantly, behind both words lies the notion of poetry, which
is to say that the speaker is herby declaring that her whole life
is poetry, which is indestructible and immortal as are Koranic or
other musical verses amenable to chanting.
Consequently, when the speaker than says that this "Chant" which is
her being "will carry you to the dawn of eternal growths and blossomings,"
she is not exaggerating. Her immortal poetry will immortalize the
person addressed here through its citation of that person in the poem.
As for the identity of this person, readers might assume that he is
a man, an intimate friend or perhaps the lover of the speaker, who
is in any case a woman. The speaker has depicted this man in her poetry,
in her chant, actually "sighed" him, and made him part of the everlasting,
primordial elements of earth (trees), air (sigh), fire, and water.
In short, the first of the poem's eight sections (lines 1-6) boldly
asserts the power of poetic art and its paramount significance in
the speaker's life, her whole being in fact. Although she does not
say so in as many words, Farrokhzad implies throughout "Another Birth,"
as well as in many secular, modernist writers around the world-her
only religion. This makes all the more telling her use of religious
and eschatological imagery in this dramatic statement of the meaning
of her life.
A Lonely Woman Michael C. Hillmann page131
Lonely Woman: Forugh Farrokhzad and Her Poetry, by Michael C. Hillmann.
Copyright © 1987 by Michael C. Hillmann. Reprinted with permission of
Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc.