/19 Australia

Hoda Afshar

The Smell of Nârenj

It was evening—
And one could hear the sound
of the minds of plants

The traveller arrived, and sat
on an easy-chair
beside the lawn

And the lines of the road were lost
in the sorrow of the meadows


What strange valleys!
And the horse—do you remember?
It was white
And it grazed upon the green silence of the plains
like a pure word


Neither these fragrant minutes that grow silent
on nârenj branches
Nor the honesty of these words that lie
between the silence of two leaves
of a wallflower—
Nothing could release me from
the silent rush
of the surroundings


The traveller’s glance fell upon the table
He said:
“What beautiful apples!
Life thirsts for solitude”

And the host asked:
“What is beautiful?”

Beautiful is
the love-struck interpretation
of images

Excerpts from “The Traveller” by Sohrab Sepehri