Persian Voices: She Labors Like A Man

All she sees is but aperity

What she reads, breathes adversity;

Her back is bending, with all the load,

Her eyesight is dim in this abode;

Thus she labors like a man;

Thus she toils, the woman.

—Nima Yushij, The Soldier’s Family


Translated to English by M. Alexandrian tebyan. (2018). Nima Yushij. [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Mar. 2018].


Editor’s Note: Nima Yushij is one of the leading modern writers in Iran’s literary movement called, “New Poetry” which also included Ahamad Shamlu and Sadegh Hedayat.  Nima Yushij’s themes include war, tyranny, poverty, and love.

Editor’s Note: Reza Shah built up Iran’s modern military between WWI and WWII. In addition to mandatory military service, often prisoners were sent to join the ranks as well. However, the state struggled to pay for this substantial force and it was not unheard of for the men in uniform to sell their rifles for bread.