Thursday, 23 June 2016

My Tabriz - Suleyman Rustam

I never get tired of looking at your beauty,
My Tabriz1, my Tabriz, my gorgeous Tabriz!

I won't let you embrace strangers,
Let me fling my arms round your neck!
Your brother speaking your language, having your blood,
Your close friend sharing your distress
Has come to your festivity, to your celebration.

You met me with salt and bread,2
You met me with flowers from your garden,
You met me with your honest heart,
My Tabriz, my Tabriz, oh, my Tabriz,
Let the mists lift away from above your head, my Tabriz!
Those who have undergone isolation can value you,
Those who have shed tears while parting cherish you,
Those who have lived dark lives can value you,
I picked flowers from your garden, my Tabriz,
My sorrow revived again, my Tabriz!

How beautiful the willows are along the roads,
And boys of courage under the shadow of the willows
Are listening to the advice of their grandfathers,
And their blood boils up, my Tabriz,
These courageous boys are wonderful, my Tabriz!
I'll cry if you're crying, I'll laugh if you're laughing,
I'll live if you're living, I'll die if you are no more,
I'll share all I have with you,
Let me kiss you once more, my Tabriz!
Let me scatter flowers around you, my Tabriz!

What do those deep, meaningful looks mean?
What do the rains coming out of your eyes mean?
What do those autumns and winters in your soul mean?
Don't be downcast like an orphan, my Tabriz!
Don't be so mournful, my Tabriz!

I beg your flowers!
I beg your tongue to call me "Brother"!
I beg your land and your ground!
I never get tired of looking at your beauty,
My Tabriz, my Tabriz, my gorgeous Tabriz!

Suleyman Rustam (1906 - 1989) Azerbaijan
Translated by Aynur Hajiyeva

  1. Referring to the division of Azerbaijan into two parts by a treaty between Russia and Iran in 1813. Tabriz (Iran) is the major centre of Southern Azerbaijan.
  2. "Salt and bread" - A tradition symbolising friendship and bonding among Azerbaijanis is to greet close, intimate friends and respected guests with salt and bread.

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