Purchase Issue 2

Purchase Issue 2

 

Ahmad Shamlou trans. by Sholeh Wolpé

Lovingly

He who says I love you
is a mournful minstrel
who has lost his song.

            If only love
                        had a tongue to speak.

A thousand happy larks
fly in your eyes,
a thousand canaries
fall silent in my throat.

            If only love
                        had a tongue to speak.

He who says I love you
is the night’s blue heart
searching for moonlight.

            If only love
                        had a tongue to speak.

A thousand laughing suns
in your footsteps,
a thousand weeping stars
in my desire.

            If only love could speak.

 

Sholeh Wolpé's translation of Ahmad Shamlou's "Lovingly" can be read in the print edition of The Arkansas International 2.

Read an interview with Wolpé, here.

 
 

 
 

Ahmad Shamlou (1925-2000) is an Iranian poet and journalist. Nominated for the Nobel Prize in 1984, Shamlou is one of Iran’s most revered modern poets and one of the prominent leaders of Iran’s modern literature literary movement. He is the author of over 17 volumes of poetry.

 
 
 
 Photo by Bonnie Perkinson

Photo by Bonnie Perkinson

Sholeh Wolpé her publications include four collections of poetry, a play, three books of translations, and three anthologies. Wolpé ’s modern translation of The Conference of the Birds (W.W. Norton) by the 12th century Iranian mystic poet, Attar, has been hailed by Reza Aslan as “timeless as the masterpiece itself.”