Forugh Farrokhzad (translated by Sholeh Wolpé)


I shed my clothes in the lush air

to bathe naked in the spring water,

but the quiet night seduced me

into telling it my gloomy story.

The water’s cool shimmering waves

moaned and lustily surrounded me,

urged with soft crystal hands

my body and spirit into themselves.

A far breeze hurried in,

poured a lapful of flowers in my hair,

breathed into my mouth Eurasian mint’s

pungent, heart-clinging scent.

Silent and soaring, I closed my eyes,

pressed my body against the soft young rushes,

and like a woman folded into her lover’s arms

gave myself to the flowing waters.

Aroused, parched, and fevered, the water’s lips

rippled trembling kisses on my thighs,  

and we suddenly collapsed, intoxicated, gratified,

both sinners, my body and the spring’s soul.

— translated by Sholeh Wolpé            

(from Sin: Selected Poems of Forugh Farrokhzad, Univ. of Arkansas Press)