Johanna-Hypatia Cybeleia (johanna_hypatia) wrote,
Johanna-Hypatia Cybeleia

The Voice of the Girl - by Zulfiya Atoi (Tajikistan)

Central Asian women's poetry series #3

The Voice of the Girl
by Zulfiya Atoi
translated from Tajik by Johanna-Hypatia Cybeleia

Life was begun with my name
The locks on the doors of goodness were opened
Hands grasped the stars with my name
Every hair on the head became endowed with miracles

Farhad dug through the mountains with my name
The defenses of his fortress were thrown down too
Also with my name Qays became Majnun
He preferred his desert over the world

Like spring I have returned scattering laughter
The poets are not allowed to complain
They say I am an unkind sweetheart
I am kind like the musk breeze wafting

Surudi Dukhtar
az Zulfiya Atoi

zindagi bo nomi man oghoz shud
qafli darhoyi nekuyi boz shud
dastho bo nomi man akhtar girift
har sarmu sohibi e'joz shud

kuh ro bo nomi man Farhod kand
bandhoyi qal'aash az ham fikand
Qays ham bo nomi man Majnun bishud
az jahon omad biyobonash pasand

chun bahoron gashtaam man khanda rez
band band shoiron shud nola khez
dilbari nomehribon guftaand
mehribonam chun nasimi mushk bez

Farhad and Qays are figures in the classical Persian poetry of Nizami. Farhad was a stonecutter in love with the Armenian princess Shirin. He was told to tunnel through the mountains with a pickaxe. He dug repeating the name "Shirin" at every stroke. He turned out to have superhuman strength. When he was almost finished, it looked like nothing could stop him. So they lied to him that Shirin had died while he was digging. He died out of grief upon hearing that. She came to see him and died of grief alongside him. She heard her name being called by the wind, the water, and everything around.
Qays was a poet who loved Layla so much he went mad and became known as Majnun, which means crazy. Layla and Majnun is the best-known love story in the Muslim world, it even inspired a hit rock song by Eric Clapton.
Women like Shirin or Layla in Persian love poetry are symbols of God. Muslims have been representing Allah as a girl for centuries, curious how no one seems to have noticed this.

Look at the lovely rhyme scheme in the original: AABA CCAC DDCD
Tags: central asia, central asian women's poetry, feminism, persian, poetry, translation, women
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