Poetry at Sangam



Rebellious God
 by Forugh Farrokhzad

Translated from Persian by Sholeh Wolpé
If I were God, I’d call on the angels one night
to release the round sun into the darkness’s furnace,
angrily command the world garden servants
to prune the yellow leaf moon from the night’s branch.
At midnight among the curtains of my divine palace,
I’d upturn the world with the frenzy of my furious fingers,
and with my hands, tired of their thousand-year stillness,
I’d stuff the mountains in the seas’ open mouths.
I’d unbind the feet of a thousand fevered stars,
scatter fire’s blood through the forests’ mute veins,
rend the curtains of smoke so that in the wind’s roar
fire’s daughter can throw herself drunk into the forest’s arms.
I’d blow into the night’s magic reed
until the rivers rise from their beds like thirsty serpents,
and weary of a lifetime of sliding on a damp chest
pour into the dim marsh of the night sky.
Sweetly I’d call on the winds to release
the flower perfume boats on the rivers of night.
I’d open the graves so that myriad wandering souls
could once again seek life in the confines of bodies.
If I were God, I’d call on the angels one night
to boil the water of eternal life in Hell’s cauldron,
and with a burning torch chase out the virtuous herd
that grazes in the green pastures of an unchaste heaven.
Tired of being a prude, I’d seek Satan’s bed at midnight
and find refuge in the declivity of breaking laws.
I’d happily exchange the golden crown of divinity
for the dark, aching embrace of a sin.
(From Sin—Selected Poems of Forugh Farrokhzad, edited and translated by Sholeh Wolpé, University of Arkansas Press, 2007)
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