Poet Simin Behbahani: Neda Is 'Voice Of The People Of Iran'


Simin Behbahani during a press conference in Tehran on Aug. 27, 2007. Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images

Simin Behbahani, a poet known as the lioness of Iran and for championing women's rights, has a message for the men and women of her nation:

"Don't give up the fight for freedom."

And, as she told Weekend Edition supervising senior producer Davar Iran Ardalan today, she has written two poems about the turmoil in Iran the past two weeks — one of them for Neda, the young woman mourned around the world because her death during last Saturday's protests was viewed by millions on the Web and TV.

Speaking by phone from Tehran, Behbahani talked about what's been happening in Iran and recited her poems:



Update at 5:10 p.m. ET. Here's another way to get the story. Thomas Pierce of the Weekend Edition team has produced a video about Davar's conversation with Behbahani:

Want to read and perhaps print out the poems? English versions follow:

Stop Throwing My Country To The Wind

If the flames of anger rise any higher in this land
Your name on your tombstone will be covered with dirt.

You have become a babbling loudmouth.
Your insolent ranting, something to joke about.

The lies you have found, you have woven together.
The rope you have crafted, you will find around your neck.

Pride has swollen your head, your faith has grown blind.
The elephant that falls will not rise.

Stop this extravagance, this reckless throwing of my country to the wind.
The grim-faced rising cloud, will grovel at the swamp's feet.

Stop this screaming, mayhem, and blood shed.
Stop doing what makes God's creatures mourn with tears.

My curses will not be upon you, as in their fulfillment.
My enemies' afflictions also cause me pain.

You may wish to have me burned , or decide to stone me.
But in your hand match or stone will lose their power to harm me.

Simin Behbahani

June 2009

Translated by Kaveh Safa and Farzaneh Milani

For Neda Agha-Soltan

You are neither dead, nor will you die.

You will always remain alive.

You have an eternal existence.

You are the voice of the people of Iran.

Simin Behbahani

June 2009

You can also hear Behbahani on Weekend Edition Saturday, which will be following the latest news from Iran as well. Click here to find an NPR station near you.

For much more about the situation in Iran, click here for's complete coverage.



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