شعر هائی از پرتو نادری با ترجمه انگلیسی


پرتو نادری

Partaw Naderi


Poems translated


Sarah Maguire


Yama Yari


the Poetry Translation Centre








Born in 1952 in Badakhashan province a region bordering present-day Tajikistan, Partaw Naderi is widely regarded as one of the foremost modernist posts of Afghanistan. Like many of his educated, Dari – speaking compatriots, he is steeped in classical Persian literature and the depth of this knowledge has had a marked impact on his poetry, notably his mastery of free verse, which remains comparatively unusual in contemporary Afghan poetry .Partaw has argued  that it is this familiarity with classical poetry and his meters’ that has allowed him to risk writing free verse; and his metrical control, and the music of his poetry, is both daring and highly effective .

Outside observers of present-day Afghanistan, one of the most war-ravaged places on earth that is on the brink of becoming a failed state can have little awareness of the country’s extraordinary cultural heritage, since so little has been left intact. Universities, libraries, bookshops, publishers, magazines have all been systematically destroyed. Until the advent of internet (to which very few Afghans have access since most remain without electricity)it was virtually impossible to read contemporary poetry – or indeed any poetry ; for years, books could only be published and bought in Iran and Pakistan  .Yet situated at the heart of the ancient silk Road, Afghanistan is the place where, over centuries, major civilizations met, exchanged ideas and flourished. The most famous poet in America’ (according to the BBC World Service) Mawlana Jalal-ad-Din Mohammad Rumi, was born in Balkh, and it is Rumi who has had the most profound influence on Partaw‘s development as a poet.

      It is unsurprising that partaw’s life has partaken of the tragic events that have waylaid his country. His promising career as a poet was cut short when he was arrested and imprisoned in the notorious pul-e-Charkhi prison outside Kabul by the soviet-backed regime in 1975. Undeterred, he used his three years of imprisonment to read and write as much as he was able, and he emerged with a deepened sense of the significance of poetry, especially during times of extreme conflict. Apart from a few years during the worst excesses of the Taliban regime when he was forced to seek refuge in Pakistan, Partaw doggedly remained in his country and he continues , today, to play an active part, especially online, in stimulating his people to strengthen their culture against all odds. As he writes in The Mirror; this determination to fight for his culture is hard won: ‘l come from the unending conflicts of wisdom / I have grasped the meaning of nothingness.

         Those of us lucky enough to live in comfort in the west can often think that poetry is irrelevant and pointless, a minority pursuit for the educated elite. Yet in many part of the world, including Afghanistan, poetry is the most important art form. Safe and cocooned in luxury, we forget how vital and essential the right to joy can be, how the first move of repressive regimes is to shut down its poets. Partaw once likened a poem to a spectrum formed by white light hitting a prism; the task of the poet being to fuse all the colours of the rainbow into a pure beam of light. Out of the darkness that is present-day Afghanistan, I hope that this small sample of Partaw’s poems will reveal the precision and power of his imagery, and the clarity and startling colours of his prismatic poems.


Sarah Maguire


The Mirror


I have spent a lifetime in the mirrors of exile

busy absorbing my reflection

Listen —

I come from the unending conflicts of wisdom

I have grasped the meaning of nothingness







عمری ست در آیینه های غربت

سرگرم تماشای خویشم


من از معرکه های دور معرفت م آیم

من مفهوم هیچ را دریافته ام


بهار 1368

شهر کابل

Lucky Men


When your star is unseen in this desolate sky,

your despair itself becomes a star.

My twin, the steadfast sun, and I

both grasp its far-flung brilliance.


* * * *


In a land where water is locked up

in the very depths of desiccated rocks,

the trees are ashamed of their wizened fruits.


The honest orchard is laid waste —

such a bloodied carpet

is spread before the future.


* * * *


Yesterday, leaning on my cane,

I returned from the trees’ cremation.


Today, I search the ashes

for my lost, homeless phoenix.


Perhaps it was you who shadowed me,

perhaps it was only my shadow.


Even though the lucky men in my land

lack stars in the heavens, lack shadows on the earth


they welcome any stars

that grace their devastated sky.


O, my friend, my only friend,

turn your anguish into constellations!


Peshawar City

November, 2002

مردان خوشبخت


وقتی ستاره ات در اين آسمان تنگ نمی تابد

دلتنگی تو خود ستاره ييست

که مفهوم بلند روشنايي اش را

من  می دانم

               و همزاد جاودانه ء من  خورشيد



درسر زمينی که آب را

در عمق  صخره های تشنه گی زندانی کرده اند

درختان ، شرمسار  ميوه های  بی  آبی خودند

و باغ صميميت سبزش را

چنان  پای اندازخون آلودی

گسترده  در رهگذارحادثه هايي که شايد

هنوز پای در رکاب نکرده اند 


 ديروز با عصای نا توانی خويش

از مراسم فاتحه خوانی  درختان بر می گشتم

و امروز در گورستان خاکستر

                                   ققنوس  بی سر پناهی خود را  جستجو  می کنم

شايد آن کی  به دنبال من می آمد

                                       تو بودی

شايد سايه ء من بود

هر چند مردان خوشبخت در سرزمين من

ستاره يي در آسمان 

                        و سايه ء در زمين ندارند

مردان خوشبخت

در آسمان دلتنگی خويش

با ستاره های هم آغوش می شوند

                                        که نام ديگر شان فرياد است


های !

اي  يار اي  يگانه ترين يار

دلتنگيت  را آسمانی برافراز


شهر پشاور

نوامبر 2002

Star Rise


I am the twin of light

I know the history of the sun



rise from the blisters on my hands



February, 1994


طلوع آبله


من همزاد روشنایی ام

از تاریخ آفتاب خبر دارم

ستاره گان

آز آبلهء دستان من طلوع کرده اند


شهر کابل

حوت 1373 خورشید



I know the language of the mirror —


its perplexities and mine

spring from one race


our roots can be traced

to the ancient tribe of truth



February, 1994




من زبان آیینه را می فهمم

حیرت من و حیرت آیینه

از یک نژا اند

و ریشه در قبیلهء دور حقیقت دارند


شهر کابل

حوت 1373 خورشید

The Bloody Epitaph


This palm tree has no hope of spring

This palm tree blossoms

with a hundred wounds

— the daily wounds of a thousand tragedies

— the nightly wounds of a thousand calamities

This palm tree is a bloody epitaph

at the crossroads of the century




Here, by the river,

  • a river of blood and tears —

the roots of this palm tree

are congealed with disaster

are knotted with the blind roots of time




Here, the sky

unwinds its bloody cloth

from barren red clouds

to shroud the shattered lid of a coffin

  • a broken mirror of rain

This palm tree has no hope of spring



This palm tree has no hope of spring

This palm tree is starred

with a hundred bruises

from the whip of the north wind

My palm!

My only tree!

My spring!

Many years have passed

since the bird of blossoms

flew away from your desiccated branches


Butterflies abandon you

My heart is broken



November, 1989




این نخل را هوای  بهاران نمانده است

این نخل را تمامی اندام

بشگفته ازشگوفته ء صد زخم

                        – زخم هزار فاجعه  در روز-

                                  – زخم هزاران حادثه درشب –

خونین کتیبه ییست

در چارسوی قرن


این جا کنار رود

                – رودی  ز اشک و خون –

این نخل ریشه  هاش

                 در انجماد فاجعه

                                  در انجماد خون     

با ریشه های کور زمان می خورد گره


این جا که آسمان

از ابر های  سرخ سترون

افگنده این قطیفهء  خونین

بر سینهء شکسته ء تابوت

                                   – تابوت آبگینهء باران –

این نخل را هوای بهاران نمانده است


این نخل  را هوای بهاران نمانده است

این نخل تمامی اندام

شلاق باد های شب ازدشت های قطب

                                              صد جا شکسته است

ای نخل من !

               یگانهء من !

                                    ای بهار من !

بس سالها گذشت

مرغ شگوفه ها

ازشاخه های  زرد تو پرواز کرده اند


ای خاک بر سرم

پروانه گان زدور و برت کوچ می کنند


شهر کابل

قوس 1368



The earth opens her warm arms

to embrace me

The earth is my mother

She understands the sorrow

of my wandering


My wandering

is an old crow

that conquers

the very top of an aspen

a thousand times a day


Perhaps life is a crow

that each dawn

dips its blackened beak

in the holy well of the sun


Perhaps life is a crow

that takes flight with Satan’s wings


Perhaps life is Satan himself

awakening a wicked man to murder


Perhaps life is the grief-stricken earth

who has opened up her bloodied arms to me


And here I give thanks

on the brink of ‘victory’


Peshawar City

July, 2002




زمین آغوش گرم خویش را

به روی من گشوده است

زمین مادر من است

اندوه سرگردانی مرا می فهمد

سرگردانی من کلاغ پیریست

که شاخه های بلند سپیدار هیچ را

روزی هزار بار فتح کرده است


زنده گی شاید کلاغیست

که هر بامداد

منقار سیاه خویش را

در زمزم مقدس آفتاب می شوید

زنده گی شاید کلاغیست

که با بال شیطان پرواز می کند

زنده گی شاید خود شیطانیست

که معاویه را از خواب بیدار کرده است

زنده گی شاید

زمین زخم خوردهء غمناکیست

که آغوش خونینش را به روی من گشوده است

و من

در چند قدمی پیروزی بزرگ خویش

نماز شکرانه می گذارم


جولای دو هزار و دو

شهر پشاور

I Still Have Time


It’s well past midnight

I should get up to pray

The mirrors of my honesty

have long been filmed with dust


I should get up

I still have time

My hands can yet discern

a jug of water from a jug of wine


as time’s wheeled chariot

hurtles down the slope of my life


Perhaps tomorrow

the poisonous arrows aimed at me

will hunt down my eyes

two speckled birds startled into flight


Perhaps tomorrow

my children

will grow old

awaiting my return


Peshawar City

August, 2000


هنوز فرصتی دارم


شب  از نيمه گذشته است

بايد بر خيزم  و نمازی ادا کنم

روزگاريست  که آيينه  های خلوص من

                                              غبار گرفته است


بايد بر خيزم

هنوز فرصتی دارم

هنوز  دستانم کوزه ء شراب  را تا کوزه آب  می شناسد

و لحظه ها  با گردونه ء شتابناکی

در سراشيب هستی من  می تازند

 شايد فردا

تير های زهر آگينی  که برای من آماده شده است

کبوتران ابلق  چشمانم را

در نخستين لحظه های پرواز

                                   شکار کند


شايد فردا

کودکانم  در انتظار برگشت من

                                            پير شوند


اگست  دوهزار





In the lines on your palms

they have written the fate of the sun



lift up your hand —


the long night is stifling me



June, 1994




بر خطوط قرمز دستانت

سرنوشت آفتاب را نوشته اند

بر خیز و دستی بر افشان

که حضور شب نفسم را تنگ ساخته است


شهر کابل

تابستان 1374

My Voice


I come from a distant land

with a foreign knapsack on my back

with a silenced song on my lips


As I travelled down the river of my life

I saw my voice

(like Jonah)

swallowed by a whale


And my very life lived in my voice



December, 1989




من از سرزمین غریب می آیم

با کوله بار بیگانه گیم بر دوش

و سرود خاموشیم بر لب

من یونس صدایم را

آن گاه که از رود بار حادثه می گذشتم


   در کام نهنگی فرو رفت

و تمام هستی من  در صدایم بود


زمستان 1367

شهر کابل



Your voice is like a girl

from the farthest green village


whose tall and graceful frame

is known to the pine trees on the mountains


Your voice is like a girl

who, at dusk,


will bathe in the clear springs of heaven

beneath the parasol of the moon


who, at dawn,

bears home a jar of pure light


who will drink sip by sip

from the river of the sun


Your voice is like a girl

from the farthest green village


who wears an anklet

forged from the songs of a brook


who wears an earring

spun from the whispering rain


who wears a necklace

woven from the silk of a waterfall


all of which grace the garden of the sun

with their many-coloured blossoms of love —


and you

are as beautiful as your voice







صدایت به دختری می ماند

در سبز ترین دهکدهء دور

که آزادی قامتش را

 تنها کاجهای بلند کوه می دانند


صدایت به دختری می ماند

که شامگاهان

در زیر چتر ماه

در شفافترین چشمهء بهشت

آب تنی می کند

و بامدان از دریچه های فلق

کوزهء از نور خلوص به خانه می آورد

و از زمزم آفتاب جرعه جرعه می نوشد


صدایت به دختری می ماند

در سبز ترین دهکدهء دور

که از ترانهء جویبار

پای زیبی به پا می کند

و از نجوای باران گوشواره یی در گوش


و از رشتهء آبشار

 گلوبندی بر گردن

تا گلخانهء خورشید را

با رنگینترین گلهای عشق بیاراید

و تو به اندازهء صدای خویش زیبایی


خزان 1373

شهر کابل

On a Colourful Morning


I kissed her —

her whole body shivered

Like a branch of almond blossom in the wind

Like the moon, like a star

trembling on the water

I kissed her —

her whole body shivered

Her cheeks showed one colour

her gaze revealed another

And the sun rose from her tender heart

And the thousand-and-one nights of waiting


And on a colourful morning

I shared a bed

with the meaning of love


July 2002,

Peshawar City


در یک بادمداد رنگین



تمام اندامش لرزيد

چنان شاخهء پرشگوفه ء بادام در باد

چون ماه چون ستاره

که می لرزد در آب

بو سيدمش

تمام اندامش لرزيد

گونه هايش رنگ ديگر يافتند

نگاهايش رنگ ديگر يافتند

و آفتاب ار گريبان مهربانی او طلوع کرد

و هزار و يک شب انتظار پايان يافت

و من دريک بامداد رنگين

با حقيقت عشق همخوابه می شدم

جولای دوهزار و دو

شهر پشاور


Original poems © Partaw Naderi


Translations © Sarah Maguire and Yama Yari




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