The Inception

It was a hot and dry summer in Tehran that I received Yaghma Golrouee’s book “The rain falls for you” as a gift from a dear friend. I read the whole book in less than a week in the midst of reviewing around 30 papers about internet of things routing to write a research proposal for my master’s thesis! Looking back, I felt it probably was a very light book, perhaps around 70 pages. It seems the book was actually 280 pages of poetry. Many of which I still recall. The following is from one of them:

The rain falls for you
And the rainbow – Standing on its tiptoes – Peeks over the mountain
To watch your arrival.

Yaghma Golrouee’s book “The rain falls for you”
Yaghma’s book: The rain falls for you

After I savored its pages, the book slipped from my hands into those of another friend, a gift from me to them, a journey renewed.

The story did not start there, though. I was really interested in Persian literature during my childhood and teenage years, a fascination that was overshadowed by the traumas of early adulthood. I regained this fascination living with my roomate who was getting his master’s degree in satire in literature. I used to read many of the books from his personal collection. He was not the kind of person who kept traditional Persian poetry, and as a result, I was drawn into more recent works of literature. This page, is nothing but a place to share my experience reading and enjoying them.

Book: Tao Te Ching

I started this book after I heard the following quote from it in the movie Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot:

Look at it: nothing to see.
Call it colorless.
Listen to it: nothing to hear.
Call it soundless.
Reach for it: nothing to hold.
Call it intangible.

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

This is part of it Celebrating Mystery poem (#14 in the book). It resonated with me because it resembles the way Rumi and Hafez, the Persian poets, deliver meaning.

Found this poem in April 2024;

Be broken to be whole.
Twist to be straight.
Be empty to be full.
Wear out to be renewed.
Have little and gain much.
Have much and get confused.

So wise souls hold to the one,
and test all things against it.

Not showing themselves,
they shine forth.
Not justifying themselves,
they’re self-evident.
Not praising themselves,
they’re accomplished.
Not competing,
they have in all the world no competitor.

What they used to say in the old days,
“Be broken to be whole,”
was that mistaken?
Truly, to be whole
is to return.

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Fazil Nazari’s Poems

I have not touched most of this Persian poet’s works. Some that I have read are beautiful. Again, I do not have any education on literature. I do read, understand, and translate by heart. Here is a verse from one of his works titled “The Pretense of Love”.

Of all the rules of love, only one must be observed:
Secrets must never be unreserved.

Fazil Nazari

The poem talks about how pretending to be in love actually means you are not in love.

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