Saturday, July 11, 2009

Letter from a Basiji who defended Iran against Saddam to his son

This is my translation of a new poem by a well respected "Poet of War and Revolution", Abduljabbar Kakaee:

All these years I read poems, and wrote new songs for a war that was, for frail bodies in gray uniforms [refering to Basiji's uniform in the war], for my mother's peace under bomb rubble, for my father's agony in chaos of death. All these years, I read poems and wrote new songs for a sunshine that needed no witness.

When I returned from war, I hang my gray suit from the wall of memories and greeted live with a people whose being refreshed my soul. My name matured among theirs and grew. I cried with their tears and laughed with their smiles.

And today, you were innocent, next to me; and you were slapped by someone who was wearing my gray uniform. You were slapped in front of my shocked eyes, helpless and hopeless; and God who was your only friend saw that you, innocent, were slapped by an insect who had crawled into my uniform; the same that I had hung from the wall of memories.

And at that moment, I wished I had burned it after the war so that it didn't robe an affliction as this.

My son,

Do not question the frail bodies of those who fought in my dress many years ago. Do not doubt the heros of my stories. Do not question the bloodied rivers of
Karoun and Arvand. Do not doubt the injured bodies in the passage of Chazabeh. Do not doubt the dusty bodies on Mehran plain. Only question the insect that has crawled into my uniform ...

By AbdolJabbar Kakayee. He is from the Ilam province, one of the frontlines of the Iran-Iraq war. He has published several books of poetry on the war. He worked for Iran's state run television up to three yeas ago. He is known as the "Poet of War and Revolution"; however he has been very critical of the cultural decay iran has been suffering under presidency of Mahmood Ahmadinejad. If anyone thinks Ahmadinejad is hated by "westernized Iranians", think TWICE, even THRICE!




این همه سال شعر خواندم و ترانه نوشتم برای جنگی که بود  برای تن های تکیده در لباسهای خاکستری برای آرامش مادرانم در آوار بمب  برای هیجان پدرانم در آشوب مرگ . این همه سال شعر خواندم و ترانه نوشتم برای آفتابی که بی نیاز از دلیل بود .


از جنگ که برگشتم پیراهن خاکستریم را آویختم به دیوار خاطرات و به زندگی با مردمی سلام گفتم که عطر شناسنامه هایشان در مشام جانم بود و اسمم در میان اسمهایشان بالید و کم کم بزرگ شد .با گریه هایشان گریستم و با خنده هایشان خندیدم .

و امروز کنار من بودی و بی گناه سیلی خوردی از کسی که لباس خاکستری مرا پوشیده بود مقابل چشم حیرت زده ی من سیلی خوردی در بی پناهی و ناچاری وخدایی که تنها دوستت بود دید که بی گناه سیلی خوردی از حشره ای که در لباس من خزیده بود همان لباسی که من به دیوار خاطراتم آویخته بودم.

و آن لحظه اندیشیدم کاش پس از جنگ سوزانده بودمش تا تنپوش بلایی چنین نمی شد.


 به تن های تکیده ای که در لباس من سالهای پیش جنگیدند شک نکن . به قهرمانان قصه های من شک نکن . به رودخانه های خون آلود اروند و کارون شک نکن  به تن های مجروح تنگه ی چزابه شک نکن به بدنهای خاک آلود دشتهای مهران شک نکن  فقط  به حشره ای شک کن که در لباس من خزیده بود . 



Anonymous said...

this comment is not about the letter(thou' it was beutifully written.

but rather about your state view on the world at the top of the page.

As a human being I am sad these days. there is to much talk of war and anger in the world, and i seldom find anyone that understands that change can happen to quickly and if it does you simply marginalise a new grp and the circle continues.

thank you for showing me 1 more person that uses reason and not anger

Naj said...


i have posted this letter only as a little light, as I am seeing people are creating new monsters of hatred to understand in the simplicity of a label ...

Pedestrian said...

Naj, I LOVED this letter when I saw it a few days ago.

Thanks so much for such a beautiful translation.