68. A Cup of Sin

One of the most famous of Simin Behbahani’s poems, „A Cup of Sin,“ reflects on the paradox of fear and hope:

„My country, I will build you again, if need be, with bricks made from my life. I will build columns to support your roof, if need be, with my own bones. I will inhale again the perfume of flower favored by your youth. I will wash again the blood off your body with torrents of my tears.“ (Milani and Kaveh Safa have been the primary translators of Behbahani’s work.)

Born July 20, 1927, in Tehran, Behbahani was Iran’s nightingale, publishing 19 books of poetry over the course of six decades. Her first book, Setar-e Shekasteh, which translates as Broken Lute, was published in 1951. She was nominated several times for the Nobel Prize in Literature. / NPR

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