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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tahirih Qurratu'l-`Ayn (Fatimih Baraghani)

This is certainly Tahirih's best known poem. It is thought to have been written near the end of her life. Although, she was one of the Bab's first disciples, and corresponded with him regularly, she never had the opportunity to meet him. In this poem, she imagines what that meeting would be like.

If I met you face to face, I
would retrace—erase!—my heartbreak,
pain by pain,
ache by ache,
word by word,
point by point.

In search of you—just your face!—I
roam through the streets lost in disgrace,
house to house,
lane to lane,
place to place,
door to door.

My heart hopeless—broken, crushed!—I
heard it pound, till blood gushed from me,
fountain by fountain,
stream by stream,
river by river,
sea by sea.

The garden of your lips—your cheeks!—
your perfumed hair, I wander there,
bloom to bloom,
rose to rose,
petal to petal,
scent to scent.

Your eyebrow—your eye!—and the mole
on your face, somehow they tie me,
trait to trait,
kindness to kindness,
passion to passion,
love to love.

While I grieve, with love—your love!—I
will reweave the fabric of my soul,
stitch by stitch,
thread by thread,
warp by warp,
woof by woof.

Last, I—Táhirih—searched my heart, I

looked line by line. What did I find?
You and you,

you and you,

you and you.



Personal Information:
A member of the persecuted Bahá'í Faith, Tahirih traveled throughout Persia, organizing women in towns and empowering them to reject their oppressed status. She was stoned in the streets and banished from town to town, but never relented in her struggle for the freedom of women.

From Tahirih "A Poetic Vision" By Ivan Lloyd Visit Amazon.com to purchase a copy

At a meeting with the most notable religious scholars of her day, Tahirih publicly removed her veil as a demonstration of the freedom and equality of women. Simply the sight of her face caused such horror and shock that one man slit his own throat. Others unsheathed their swords and attempted to kill her. A pioneer for women's rights, bold, and impetuous, Tahirih denounced the evils of her day, declaring...

"You can kill me as soon as you like, but you cannot stop the emancipation of women"

Tahirih was martyred for her beliefs at the age of 35 in 1852. ( http://www.tahirih.org/tahirih/about/tahirih.html )

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