An honored and sincere friend

This poem was written in Persian by the Iranian poet, Qeysar Aminpour. His poems made their way into many countries. The translation here is from Dari into English by Frozan—a remarkable 14-year-old Afghan girl. The most difficult translation is poetry. It demands great care and a deep understanding of words. Our thanks to Frozan for working so hard to unlock this amazing poem for English speakers.


verticalake2

InterestEng.photo

Frozan speaks both Dari and Pashto.  She studies at SOLA, the School of Leadership in Afghanistan. Her great love is astronomy. She dreams of being an astronaut. “At night I speak with the stars. I tell them about my dreams, my sadness and my happiness. They are my best friends. I want to be an astronaut because I want to know with what I am speaking.”


HOME Ω PAGE

AN HONORED AND SINCERE FRIEND

Once I thought that God has
A home near the clouds, full of glory—
Like a king has a castle in a children’s story.
With diamond bricks and gold the castle was made,
The base of its towers, ivory and crystal laid.

I thought that You sit on Your throne with pride.
While the Moon, a tiny glimmer on Your robe, rides.
The pattern of Your robe, the moonbeams draw.
A small jewel in Your crown, every star I saw.
Our sun was no more than a button on Your vest.
The sky, a small part of Your coat, so I guessed.
But no one has seen where You live or rest.

I thought that You did not want us to know.
I was so sad for this image of God here below.
My thoughts in prayer were out of fear, it’s true—
Of what a very angry God might do.
Prayer was like memorizing a lesson in school,
Reviewing geometry or math, without any rules.
Prayer was the punishment of a principal, who
Wanted answers to questions no one knew,
Or told you to form tenses of verbs no one used.

Then one night with my father, hand in hand,
We walked down a village road in our land.
There we saw a welcoming home.
I asked without waiting, “Whose is it, do you know?”
“It is God’s noble house,” my father replied.
“We can stay here awhile and pray inside.
We can pray here in quiet, beyond the sight of men,
We can make ourselves fresh and clean again.
We will talk with our conscience and learn what to do.”
“But does that angry God have a home here too?!” 
To my question my father replied, 
“Yes, God’s home is in our hearts, it is inside.
God’s house is covered with carpet soft and bright.
God is a mirror in our hearts full of light.
God is forgiving and hatred does not know. . .”
And suddenly I knew that my love for 
this God would grow.
This familiar and kind God is mine, and will be—
A friend closer than myself to me.
Close to me as my very own life.
A good and an honored Friend 
In Whom I delight.

Qeysar Aminpour  §  Translation: Frozan

 ©InterestEng. July 2013  §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff or used with permission.  §  To contact us:  go.gently.on@gmail.com