Existence


If this is life–how low!
and I, how shamed, if I don't hang my lifetime's lamp
high on the dusty pine of this dead-end lane.

If this is life–how pure!
and I, how stained, if I don't plant my faith like a mountain,
eternal memorial, to grace this ephemeral earth.


                            Persian; trans. Zara Houshmand


Ahmad Shamlou, Persian, trans. Zara Houshmand, Words Without Borders, July/August, 2003.