In this leafy orchard is a nightingale,
a nightingale whose songs are the dawn
and take me into the light,
to the mountains of legendary Farhad,
and to the place where mad Majnun talks to the raven:
'Hello gorgeous!' And to that lucky cave,
luminous with solitude, basking in gold,
and to a paradise where Adam and Eve stare at a wheat grain:
'Shall we taste it or not?' If I were Eve, I wouldn't taste it.
Thank goodness I'm not Eve or else mankind
would never forgive me for not sinning.
O tiny, miraculous wheat grain, O tiny apple of amazement,
O simple beginnings of myself.
There is a nightingale who sings my see through thoughts,
sings back to the beginning of memory.
There is a nightingale flying out of the cage of my breast;
it's chirping now at the edge of morning.
I am leaving; I am leaving, my friend.
You have to step into life, spread your existence,
you must hurry,
you must bring to Farhad in the story,
the good news about Shirin, his beloved,
you must enter Zoroaster's cave
and taste the light.
To taste the wheat grain of paradise - or not? O...
I am leaving, I am leaving at last:
my friend, open your heart for me.
Farzaneh Khojandi (born 1964) Tajikistan
Translated by Narguess Farzad and Jo Shapcott
Source: Poetry Translation Centre