Saturday, December 18, 2010

Kristallnacht (Poem) J Sedaghatfar, Translated by P Akhlaghi

A Synagogue Burning
Krystallnacht, November 9th, 1938
The Night of the Broken Glass

Translation of Poem in Persian by
Jahangir Sedaghatfar

English translation by
Payman Akhlaghi

کریستال ناخت: شب شیشه های شکسته
شعری به زبان پارسی از جهانگیر صداقت فر
برگردان انگلیسی از پیمان اخلاقی

The present poem recounts the horrible events of that nightmare of a night in a quasi-delirious, almost hallucinatory fashion. The brackets designate those moments when the observer pauses the narrative to loudly protest the painful scenes, which are taking place before the eyes.

The Aftermath of Kristallnacht
November 10th, 1938

The Night of the Broken Glass


Watch over the mothers!
Watch over the mother,
Whose fear-poisoned breast
Is feeding bitter milk
Into the mouth of the startled child.
Sacrilege and lunacy
Harden daggers
In the acerbity of blood.]

Watch over the newborns
—These fragile hopes of a better tomorrow;
[Please click on Read More for the entire poem.]

Watch over them, please,
For the sake of God;
His Will was never meant
To cleanse the temple’s altar
By the ablution of the virgins’ blood.
[This is no more
The scent of the incense,
Or the fragrance of the oudh,
Which passes now,
On the wings of the wind,
Over the dark alleys of the night.]

Through the long fear of the mortiferous night,
We saw
The ignorance-tainted blindness of contempt
—That onset
Of the return
Of the slaughter, the crime—
So vividly, in our sight;
And we listened
’Til the jubilant cries of the drunkards
Merged with those supplicant pleas
That asked in tears,
“I beg thy forgiveness,
Oh, Thou, the Almighty God…”

And why,
At this autumn night,
When deciduous trees shed leaves,
There sprang, everywhere,
Red poppies, these flowers of love,
From the faint cold of the soil;
There bloomed red poppies,
From the callous heart
Of history’s
Stone-paved road.

Look, now!
Look, how
The ghosts of shrouded holy men
Are saving Jehovah’s name
—Which shineth brightly whence
The columns of the holy scrolls—
From the raging fire of hatred’s flames.
[This deceitful light of the fire
At the heart of this pitch-black dark
Couldn’t have ever been taken
As the glowing rays of
Shechina—God’s Holy Light.]

Canst thou hear
The dreadful wail
Of the shofar, crying
From the hilltops of Gilead?

These corps after corps of the ghosts,
Are the wandering souls,
Who’ve lost their graves,
Even as themselves
Were once victims—
These white-clad crowd,
Who’ve now risen
From the ruins
Of the unmarked tombs
Of centuries past.
The rebel martyrs of bygone ages,
At last,
The roar of their cries
Would stir
The colossal heart of God.]
And at long last,
The trace of the crimson thread
Joins now
The frigid cold of the gates of a heart
Devoid of the grace of love’s shining light,
A heart, itself
Forever drowned
In the ice-melt of its own blood.

But may the hands
Of the vicious hangmen
Forever be
Heavy with pain,
Who by the slingshot of their fists
—Filled with the fossils of ancient hate—
Broke down,
So sudden,
That night,
The silence
Of the crystal of kindness
Off of the blue calm
Of heaven’s dome.

This is no more
The scent of the incense,
Or the fragrance of the oudh,
Which passes now,
On the wings of the wind,
Over the dark alleys of the night…

Jahangir Sedaghatfar
Tiburon, November 1997
English translation: Los Angeles
November 2008, Payman Akhlaghi

(*)This translation was originally published on, April 15th, 2010.

© 2008/2010: All pertinent rights reserved for the author and the translator of this poem, Jahangir Sedaghatfar and Payman Akhlaghi, respectively. This edition prepared on December 17, 2010, for Pardess Rimonim blog.


(*) Payman Akhlaghi is a composer, pianist, and piano teacher, who offers piano lessons -- and lessons in composition and sightsinging -- in Western Classical and Pop, as well as Persian music, covering the Greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, West LA, Santa Monica, Brentwood Culver City, Encino, and their surrounding neighborhoods. Payman holds a BA and an MA both in Music (Composition) from UCLA, and he's currently working on his dissertation toward the degree of PhD, also in Composition. For information on lessons at your home, or performance engagements, please call (310) 208-2927, or send an email to

پیمان اخلاقی آهنگساز، پیانیست و آموزندۀ فن نوازندگی پیانو، مقیم لس آنجلس است. پیمان دارای مدارک لیسانس و فوق لیسانس در رشتۀ آهنگسازی از یو سی ال ای است، و در حال حاضر مشغول کار بر تز دکترای خویش در همین رشته است. در صورتی که مایل به کسب اطلاعات بیشتر پیرامون تدریس در منزل خود و یا ارائۀ برنامه در کنسرت ها و مراسم عروسی یا اردوور هستید، لطفا با شماره تلفن یا ایمیل زیر تماس حاصل کنید:

Piano Lessons Covering the Greater Los Angeles Area
Classical, Pop, Film, Persian Music
Solo Piano Performance at Private Recitals, Weddings, Receptions, etc.
(310) 208-2927

[Payman Akhlaghi, (Peyman Akhlaghi), پیمان اخلاقی, Akhlagi, Aklagi, Aklaghi]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

همه فوق به حقیقت گفت : . ما می توانیم در این موضوع ارتباط برقرار کند.
کریسمس مبارک! :)