Winter by: M.A. Saless /sa:les/
This week, Persian Literature page presents Saless.
As far as I remember, no one has described winter in our literature so strongly as Saless has done. This is one of his greatest works that is going to remain at the top of our modern literature for generations to come (at least in its own category). Although several years ago the poet once mentioned in an interview that he had just described winter as a season only, this work by all means goes deeper than this and apparently it is stronger than a simple description of a single season. I guess he wrote this poem during the early stage of his poetic life, some 47 years ago. But the theme and the soul of this work are so fresh and updated that you believe it is written just today and will never expire. I wish I were able to present a comprehensive word for word translation for this work.
The poet starts simply by saying, ” Your ‘hello’ will not be responded (no one wants to respond it). Heads are hidden in collars! No one is keeping his head up (out of his collar) to either reply to or see his friends. Eyes can see but only one step or two away from the toes, for the path is dark and slippery. And if you take your hands out to offer affection to somebody (by shaking hands), you will see his hands coming out from under his arms reluctantly, as the cold is terribly burning!” Then he goes farther than this and says, ” Your breath that comes from the warm place of your chest becomes a dark cloud, and stands like a wall in front of your eyes (blocks your vision). What do you expect from your friends now when your breath is doing this to you?” Then he calls for an old beloved and says, ” It is unfairly cold here!” and asks her to come and reply to his ‘hello’ by opening a door. He cries that, ” It’s me, the sad guest of your all nights. It’s me, the afflicted stone hit by every foot. It’s me, the lowest melody of creation. I am neither white nor black; I am still the same colorless one. Come and open the door! I am deeply upset. You have been my hostess for months and years. I am now terribly trembling in the cold weather just behind your door. The sounds you are hearing are not from the hailstones or death. It’s my teeth (in the cold weather) making noise behind your door.” Then he explains that the brightness of the sky she (the beloved) is seeing now comes from the foggy cold weather of the winter night not from the sun.
He ends his poem by repeating, ” Your ‘hello’ will not be responded (no one wants to respond). The weather is upset, doors are closed, heads are in collars, hands are hidden, breathes are (become) clouds, hearts are tired and sad, trees are crystallized (frozen) skeletons, the earth is dead-hearted, the roof of the sky is lower (than ever), sun and moon are dust-faced. It’s winter!”
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