The Foreigner – By Nader Naderpour, Tehran, July 1956. From the Collection Daughter of the Cup (Dokhtare Jām). Translated by Farhad Mafie- August 1984
If someday someone asks me,
“What is your purpose in life?”
I will tell him that since I am afraid of death
I have no other path except living!
I opened my eyes to the world at the moment
the weight of life was on my shoulder
Since I was born not of my own choice
when did I ever have any choice except living?
I am an unfamiliar guest here
I have no words with unfamiliar people
As I looked at others I saw his sigh
I was aware of him, but he wasn’t of me
No one heard my story, no one did
No one got to know me deeply, no one did
On this harp called life
no one, no one played my song
When did my appearance ever show my insides?
One is quiet and the other a volcano
I had a mask on my face, calm
behind it so many storms were hidden
Everyone said that the problem is with your seeing
Why do you see the world so bad when it’s so beautiful?
I don’t know if this saying is right or not
but I know that the problem is with our existence
What benefit from the shining of the sun and the moon
if my eyes can’t shine?
Even though the world has the joy of life
I no longer have the joy of living.