A Flower Blooming Amongst the Ruins
by Nigar Rafibeyli (1913-1981 )
A flower blooming amongst the ruins
set me wondering
Why do men say that in such desolation
no flower can grow?
The walls of the little house were broken,
the roof had tumbled in.
It had become the dwelling place
of fierce winds and winter snow.
The untamed winds had laid waste
the dear comforts of this once-loved home
And had pierced the passer-by
with melancholy pity.
The curtains, by gentle women's hands
so lovingly stitched and sewn,
Hung ragged like shell-torn banners
over a desolate city.
Amidst the heaps of stone and rubble
bloomed the beautiful flower,
And that flower filled all my thoughts
with one all-important question.
I asked: what gardener planted and nurtured
you here, frail flower?
Tell me your story, the dastan1 of your life,
and I shall listen.
Perhaps although this place is no more vibrant
with nightingale's song,
Abandoned by birds, yet you were called
into being by Spring's first breath?
"I am the voice of the Earth,"
the flower answered with human tongue.
"I am that Greater Life
which must forever triumph over Death."
1 Dastan - A Persian word used in the region to mean a narrative or epic tale.
Taken from "Azerbaijanian Poetry," edited by Mirza Ibrahimov, Progress Publishers, Moscow. No date [Probably late 1970s]. Translated by Avril Pyman.
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