Persian Voices: Women of Islam


Persian Voices: Women of Islam

There is no religious objection to such gatherings, and women of Islam have always and everywhere come together. Also, according to the Constitution, this is not objectionable. When it (the Constitution) says an Iranian, the word is inclusive of men and women both. So long as gatherings are not disruptive of religious and worldly affairs, there is no harm and no prohibition.

—Hasan Taqizadeh


Afsaneh, Najmabadi. Women with Mustaches and Men Without Beards: Gender and Sexual Anxieties of Iranian Modernity. Page 209. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2005. Print.

Persian Voices: Don’t Cry


Persian Voices: Don’t Cry

Dust on my head! The child has woken up!

Go to sleep my pet; the Bogey man is coming!

Don’t cry! The ogre will come and eat you up! The cat will come and take away your kiddy!

What ails you, my pet? I am hungry [you say]? May you burst! You have eaten all this: is it too little?

Go out, dog! Pussy, puss, puss, come here! Hushaby, darling! You are my rose! Hush, hush!

“Mamma! I am ready to die with hunger!”

Don’t cry!

O dear, Mamma! My life is ready to leave me!”

Don’t cry! The pot is just on the boil!

“O my hand! See, it is as cold as ice!”

Fie, fie, my Soul! See, the breast is dry!

“Why does my head spin so?” [Because} the lice are digging holes in your head!

Akh-kh-kh! What ails you, my Soul?

Haq, haq! O my Aunt! Why are its eyes turned up to the ceiling?

Come here! Alas, see its body also has become cold!

Dust on my head! Why has its color turned so pale?

Woe is me! My child is gone from my hands!

Alas, alas! To me there remain but sighs and grief! Alas, alas!

—Charand Parand, Sur-IIsrafil, 27 Feb 1908


Partly Based on the Manuscript Work of Mírzá Muhammad ʻAlí Khán , Tarbiyat and By: Edward Granville Brown. The Press and Poetry of Modern Persia: Partly Based on the Manuscript Work of Mírzá Muhammad ʻAlí Khán . Page 249-250. London: Cambridge University Press , 1914. Print.


Editor’s Note: The writer of the poem likens the inexperienced constitutionalists of the time who are unable to immediately remedy the sufferings of the Persian people to a new mother incompetent to care for her infant.


The other Translation:

Oh, Bother! The child has woken up!

Go to sleep, pet-the boogeyman’s coming!

Don’t cry, or the ogre will come and eat you up!

The cat will take away your bunny!

Boohoo, boohoo-What is it, sweetie? -I’m hungry!

May you burst! All that food you ate isn’t enough!

Get out, dog! Nice kitty, here, kitty, kitty!

Hushaby, darling, my flower, hush, hush!

Don’t cry; the pot’s just coming to a boil.

But see, my hand is as cold as ice!

Tsk, tsk, pet; my milk is all gone.

Why is my head spinning so?

The lice are digging holes in your scalp.

Akh-kh-kh…Darling, what’s the matter with you?

(Convulsive sobs)

God help me! Why are his eyes rolled up toward the ceiling?

Oh come and look, his body is cold as well!

Why, oh woe, has he gone so pale?

Oh, woe! My child has slipped away! Alas, alas!

And I am left with only sighs and sorrow.