Public / Common love – by Ahmad Shamlu
This week, Persian poet page presents Ahamd Shamlou (Shamlu).
In this poem, love is looked at differently in a broader sense. We love somebody and it’s our own personal/individual affair, so it’s a personal love. Sometimes, we reach beyond this meaning and we fall in love that does not belong to us only. Here, we come to recognize a love shared by many. It’s a public love. For example, when we talk about our common pains that many people are sharing with us, or when we talk about a nationwide subjects that is accepted by many, we have pains, love, and so on in common. As a result, our love or pain does not belong to us only. We have made it public and we have announced or gained a public love. Maybe, most people love Shakespeare because they all wish to be able to say such things. And suddenly, they come across a person who is telling what they want to say (with no success). So, they find Shakespeare talking about the pains and love they have.
Here, the poet begins strongly by emphasizing on this fact that there is a mystery (secret) in tears, smiles, and love. And the tears he dropped that night was his smile in love. He then says, ” I am not a tale you can tell, I am not a song you can sing, I am not a sound you can hear, I am neither this you can see nor that you can know. I am a common pain, cry me out.”
Then he continues, ” Trees talk with jungle, grasses with lands, stars with galaxies. And I talk with you. Tell me your name, give me your hands, tell me your words, give me your heart. I have found (recognized) your roots. Through your lips, I have talked to all. And your hands are familiar with mine. In a bright loneliness, I have cried with you for those who are alive! And in the dark cemetery, I have sung the best songs with you, because those who died this year were the best lovers of the alive. Give me your hands. Your hands are familiar with me. O, you whom I found (very) late. I am talking to you just like clouds who talk with the storm, like the grasses who talk to lands, like the rain who talk to the sea, like birds who talk to spring, and like trees who talk to jungle. Because I have found your roots, because my voice is familiar with yours.”