Water by Sepehri

I am posting this serene poem by Sohrab Sepehri (1928-1980), a famous contemporary Iranian poet and painter.

We shouldn’t muddy the water.
A pigeon may drink it down the road
Or in a far away grove a starling may bathe
Or in the village, a jug may be filled.
We shouldn’t muddy the water.
This running water may feed a poplar and wash away sadness from a heavy heart.
A dervish may dip his dry bread in it.
A pretty woman may come to the river bank
We shouldn’t muddy the water
The beauty will be doubled.
What refreshing water!
What limpid river!
How pure the uptown people are
May their springs always boil and their cows always milk!
I have not seen their village.
But, no doubt, god walks along their wattles
The Moon, over there, lights the width of words
No doubt, uptown, the walls are short.
Their people know what a poppy is.
No doubt, over there, blue is blue.
The people know when a flower blooms.
What a village it would be!
May its garden alleys be filled with music!
The people from the head of the river know water.
They did not muddy it,
Neither should we.

Translated by Mahvash Shahegh

Contributed to Jahane Rumi by Ammar Ali Qureshi

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