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Garous Abdolmalekian (born, 1980) is an acclaimed young Iranian poet. He is the author of four poetry books that have been reprinted several times: Hollows (2011), Lines Change Places in the Dark (2008), The Faded Colors of the World (2005) and The Hidden Bird (2002). He is also the recipient of the Karnameh Poetry Book of the Year Award (2003) and the winner of the Iranian Youth Poetry Book Prize (2006). Abdolmalekian has also participated in International poetry events, such as the Voix Vives poetry festival in France (2011). His poems have been translated into Arabic, French, German, Kurdish and Spanish. Abdolmalekian is presently the editor of the poetry section at Cheshmeh Publications in Tehran and the executive editor of publications at the Youth Poetry Office in Iran.

Translations from Persian by Maryam Ala Amjadi.

English version


I am lying down
and my wife is reading a poem about war.
The last thing I need is tanks getting into my bed.

Bullets have made holes; they have made holes in my dreams
and when you look through one of them:
You see a road, its skin whitened by the snow…

I wish there was no snow,
so one could tell the border between the bed sheet and the road

the tanks have crossed the trenches of the sheets
and they slowly enter my dreams:
I was a child
Mother washed the dishes
Father returned home with his black moustache
but when it rained bombs,
all three of us were children.

The next images of this dream will choke you!

Close your eyes
Put your mouth on this small opening
and just breathe
Breath, damn it!

The doctor shakes his head
The nurse shakes her head
The doctor wipes off his sweat
and the green chain of mountains on the screen become a desert.
English version


We are a few people
sitting in a café, with burnt hair
and a chest crowded by the streets of Tehran,
with skins of daylight that have turned into night in random spots

We were a few horses
without wings, without manes,
without any pastures…
We were the word of ‘running’ to the core
and with earthy sport horseshoes
we broke out of the lane’s choked throat.
The trees had turned into cudgels
and we had so much weeping to do
that we had to shed natural tears
amidst so much dust

We were the word of ‘breaking’ to the core
and those fists we threw in the air
we finally thumped them on the table

And we hid our fists under the table
And we hid our fists in the bed
And we hid our fists in the kitchen drawers
And we hid our fists in our pockets…

Come, open my fist!
Wherever on Tehran I put my hand, it only aches
Wherever on the day I sit, it is night
Wherever on this earth…

I did not have the heart to say it
but this poem was shot in the very first few lines
or it would not have ended here.
The Room
English version

The Room

Near my house,
the one who thinks of the wall is free
the one who thinks of the window is sad
and the one who looks for freedom sits

Inside the four walls he sits
stands up
then walks a few steps
stands up
then walks a few steps
stands up
then walks a few steps
stands up
walks a few steps
stands up
walks a few steps
stands up
walks a few…

Even you have grown tired of this poem!
What can I say of him, the one who sits
Stands up
     He falls.