Persian Voices: Shrouds for the Dead

What are these unbecoming cloaks and veils?

They are shrouds for the dead, not for those alive

I say: “Death to those who bury women alive”

If a few poets add their voices to mine

A murmur of discontent will start

With it women will unveil

They’ll throw off their cloak of shame, be proud

Joy will return to lives

Otherwise, as long as women are in shrouds

Half the nation is not alive.

—Mirzadeh Eshqi


Milani, Farzaneh. “The Concept of Veiling.” Veils and Words: The Emerging Voices of Iranian Women Writers. London: I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd, p.29. Print


Editor’s Note: Sayed Mohammad Reza Kordestani with the pen name, Mirzadeh Eshqi was an Iranian political writer and poet.

چیست این چادر و روبنده نازیبنده؟
گر کفر نیست پس بگو! چیست این روبنده؟؟
مرده باد انکه زنان زنده به گور افکنده
با من ار یک دو سه گوینده هم اواز شود
کم کم این زمزمه در جامعه اغاز شود
با همین زمزمه ها روی زنان باز شود
زن کند جامه شرم ار و سرافراز شود
لذت زندگی از جامعه احراز شود
ورنه تا زن به کفن سربرده..
نیمی از ملت ایران مرده…
میرزاده عشقی