:: Article

Two Poems

By Nigar Hasan-Zadeh.

Forgive me that I opened your door silently,
without knocking entered your fate,
that I lit the fire but then turned cool,
that I searched but did not find.
Forgive me that I trusted, did not know shame,
that I charmed you with my boldness.
Forgive me that I became now and forever
an indelible scar on your soul.
Forgive me for laughter, forgive me for tears,
forgive me for sincerity that you didn’t accept.
Forgive me, my dear, for rosy dreams,
for your never understanding me.
Forgive everything in the present,
forgive everything in the past
which by chance followed on your heels,
for my once opening your door,
well, now I’ll slam it behind me.


To Poetry

It’s not words I wish would fly down
from a sharp but miraculous pen
but that my veins would quiver and drown
that the scream of feelings, deafening heaven
would burst out scratching the chest
and beyond the sunlight somewhere
to lay the path that never rests.

From the melodies of mute paradise
from the hand over alien seas
remembering each whisper in the breast
to be stretched beyond all limits
higher than hats higher than flat roofs
above myself, above the planet and higher
to teach this woman’s body to breathe the clouds.

What did it cost us to pluck stars from the sky
and lay them on strangers’ laps
that is my holy Devil making mischief
seducing the shadows of the earth,
not for heroic deeds, nor for disaster,
just to be turned inside out
and in the deep, cherished delirium
to remember My name – the Pretender!

I want the smooth white paper,
awaiting the coloured inks
to learn to sob from happiness
and be drunk – on lines like beer.
So poems over the skin like the chill of fear,
would be a caress, a blade,
enter the very blood itself!
You cannot run away from this pain
but sweetness will make you try again – and again . . .

translated by Richard McKane


Nigar Hasan-Zadeh was born in Baku, Azerbaijan. She published her first collection of poetry in Russian On the Wings Over the Horizon (later translated into English by Richard McKane). It was awarded the National Public Prize as the best poetry book of 2001 by the National Academy of Azerbaijan. In 2004 her second collection Under Alien Clouds… was published followed by Silver in 2007. Her latest work is on the Sufi fable The Mute Fairy Teller and White Bird Nara which is being translated into English by the poet Christopher Arkell, into Spanish by the poet Fernando Ianzas and Arabic by Professor Ahmed Abdelmoniem. She has lived in London since 2000 and last year was chosen by the British Library to be recorded for their sound archives.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Sunday, February 21st, 2010.