Going Down the Path of a Wasteland is Better than Sitting Idly

Saadi lived more than 700 years ago, but his poems are still completely intelligible to Persian speakers. He is among the most read and most loved Persian poets. His famous poem “All human beings are members of one frame,” adorns the wall the United Nations building.

This poem that I have translated into English, is a very different poem compared to the one in the United Nations. It is a painful love song. This poem by Saadi has no title (it is not something uncommon in Persian poetry), therefore I call it by one it’s most beautiful and famous line: “Going down the path of a wasteland is better than sitting idly.

Here, you have the English translation of this poem, then the original Persian version, and finally, its narration by me.

I love this poem a lot.

 

Going down the path of a wasteland is better than sitting idly” – A poem by Saadi

 

I made a thousand efforts to deny having fallen in love
but how can I not give out smoke while burning on fire

I had been sane not to fall for any living soul
but as I saw your figure, I lost my patience and wits

I heard your voice reciting a tale to me
hence people’s advice became a tale to me

Unless you hide your face to put out this passion
but even then I have no plans to look the other way

This enamored should never stand to say prayers
if I come on foot they have to carry me out on shoulders

Come in friendship and sit down with me tonight
since I have not slept a wink waiting the other night

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You handed over my heart for nothing, but I still persist
not to sell a single hair of yours to buy the entire universe

I will tell this painful tale to the wounded only
because those unhurt would mock me as I groan

Do not tell me, Saadi, give up this cult of romance
Do not waste your breath, since I am not taking a hint

Going down the path of a wasteland is better than sitting idly
Even though I might fail my desire, I would try my best

 

A poem by Saadi
Photo by Flor Garduño

 

«به راه بادیه رفتن به از نشستن باطل»
شعری از سعدی

هزار جهد بکردم که سر عشق بپوشم نبود بر سر آتش مُیسّرم که نجوشم
به هوش بودم از اول که دل به کس نسپارم شمایل تو بدیدم نه عقل ماند و نه هوشم
حکایتی ز دهانت به گوش جان من آمد دگر نصیحت مردم حکایتست به گوشم
مگر تو روی بپوشی و فتنه بازنشانی که من قرار ندارم که دیده از تو بپوشم
من رمیده دل آن به که در سماع نیایم که گر ز پای درآیم به دربرند به دوشم
بیا به صلح من امروز در کنار من امشب که دیده خواب نکردست از انتظار تو دوشم
مرا به هیچ بدادی و من هنوز بر آنم که از وجود تو مویی به عالمی نفروشم
به زخم خورده حکایت کنم ز دست جراحت که تندرست ملامت کند چو من بخروشم
مرا مگوی که سعدی طریق عشق رها کن سخن چه فایده گفتن چو پند می‌ننیوشم
به راه بادیه رفتن به از نشستن باطل که گر مراد نیابم به قدر وسع بکوشم

 

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دکلمه ی «به راه بادیه رفتن به از نشستن باطل»
شعری از سعدی


 

باز هم از شعر های ترجمه شده ی من، و دکلمه هایم در سیناریوم بخوانید و بشنوید.

Read more translated poems, and listen to more narrations by me, on Sinarium.

The featured image is by Flor Garduño.

Going Down the Path of a Wasteland is Better than Sitting Idly
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