It's Time to Mow the Flowers

Simin Behbahani

    It's time to mow the flowers,
    don't procrastinate.
    Fetch the sickles, come,
    don't spare a single tulip in the fields.
    The meadows are in bloom:
    who has ever seen such insolence?
    The grass is growing again:
    step nowhere else but on its head.
    Blossoms are opening on every branch,
    exposing the happiness in their hearts:
    such colorful exhibitions must be stopped.
    Bring your scalpels to the meadow
    to cut out the eyes of flowers.
    So that none may see or desire,
    let not a seeing eye remain.
    I fear the narcissus is spreading corruption:
    stop its displays in a golden bowl
    on a six-sided tray.
    What is the use of your ax,
    if not to chop down the elm tree?
    In the maple's branches
    allow not a single bird a moment's rest.
    My poems and the wild mint
    bear messages and perfumes.
    Don't let them create a riot with their wild singing.
    My heart is greener than green,
    flowers sprout from the mud and water of my being.
    Don't let me stand, if you are the enemies of Spring.
    Translation. by Farzaneh Milani and Kaveh Safa, Strange Times, My Dear: The PEN Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Lit (Arcade)

Simin Behbahani - Simin Beh'bahani (born July 20 , 1927, Tehran, Iran) is one of the most prominent figures of the modern Persian literature and one of the most outstanding amongst the contemporary Persian poets. She is Iran's national poet and an icon of the Iranian intelligentsia and literati who affectionately refer to her as the lioness of Iran. She has been nominated twice for the Nobel Prize in literature, and has "received many literary accolades around the world."
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