Pari Azarm Motamedi is an Iranian artist now living in Canada whose devotion to literature is manifest in her paintings. Her practice and interests for the past thirty years have been the translation and interpretation of contemporary Persian poetry into the English language and into the visual language of her paintings. Inspired by the poetry of Mohammad Reza Shafii Kadkani, she has translated and painted the poems of this renowned contemporary poet. Sokhan Publishers in Tehran, published a collection of 40 paintings and 86 English translations by Azarm Motamedi, edited by Alan Williams, in May 2008. The book titled ‘In the Mirror of the Stream’ won the prestigious Parvin Etesami Award for Translation in 2010. What follows is a selection of Shafiei’s poems on spring in Azarm’s English translation – by courtesy of Sokhan Publishers:
Image: Painting by Pari Azarm Motamedi @Bellevue Gallery, Canada.
It is coming, it is coming:
like spring, from all directions, it is coming.
nor barbed wire
does it recognise.
It is coming
it does not linger at a walk or a gallop.
Let me be like a drop of rain,
in this desert,
that brings good news of this arrival to the earth;
or the throat of a small lark
that in mid-winter
is singing of the spring pennyroyal mit
when by the lead bullet
with the drop
drop of its blood
on the non-stop, monotonous music of snow
it bestows the purple refrain.
Of Fluid Moments
At the height of spring, when the dawn is awake
render me like the rain
like the flower
to that wavelike river of luminosity.
In that azure spring
— those two fields of resurrection
in that receptive and elusive silence
like a song,
With the Green Sprouted Wheat of Changiz
Here they have sprinkled
a pink and green dust on the trees in the distance,
which is still floating,
in the air.
From far away,
I can still sense the scent of your spring,
mingled with the blood of autumn.
Oh meadow, the fragrance of departure
wafts from every single leaf of your garden,
and your spring.
on the edge of the pool,
speaking with the red fish
With the green sprouted wheat of Changiz
the farmer of Tus and Tabriz!
May the ancient New Year be auspicious!