My Homeland Soldier by Mohammad Reza, translated by Bänoo Zan

My homeland soldier 

is now a fighter

who shoots his hungry brother in the heart

when the world is asleep 

My homeland soldier 

is now a knight  

who drags his sister 

on the ground by her braids

when the world is blind

My homeland soldier 

is now a warrior 

who kicks the grieving mothers in the mouth

with his boots

when the world does not want to hear

My homeland soldier 

is now a noble hero 

thrusting his bayonet

into the throats of fathers

tired of life for lack of bread

when the world is in the dark

My homeland soldier 

is now hireling of the thieves

obedient to criminal commands

slave to rampant greed and lust

My homeland soldier

is now a pawn

on the chess board of blood and grief

And I know

that one day my homeland soldier 

will lay his weapon down

to become the chess vizier—

to become my brother again 

سرباز میهن من امروز

جنگجویست

که به قلب برادر گرسنه اش شلیک میکند

وقتی جهان خواب است

سرباز میهن من امروز

دلاوریست

که خواهران سرزمینش را 

از گیسوان گرفته بر زمین می کشد

وقتی جهان کور است

سرباز میهن من امروز

صلحشوریست

که با پوتین بر دهان مادران داغدیده میکوبد

وقتی جهان نمیخواهد که بشنود

سرباز میهن من امروز

‌پاکبازیست

که سرنیزه اش را 

در گلوی پدرانی فرو میکند 

که از غم نان به جان آمده اند

وقتی جهان خاموش است

سرباز میهن من امروز

مزد بگیر دزدان است

گو‌ش به فرمان تبهکاران

غلام افسار بریدگان حرص و هوس

سرباز میهن من امروز

سرباز پیاده ی 

شطرنج خون و رنج است

و میدانم

که سرباز میهن من فردا

سلاح بر زمین میگذارد

تا وزیر شطرنج شود

تا دوباره برادرم شود

My Homeland Soldier by Mohammad Reza

The poet: 

Mohammad Reza studied Graphics at the College of Arts, Tehran University, and has since been working as a graphic artist, painter, and illustrator. He has participated in biennales, and group and solo exhibitions. Mohammad wrote and illustrated three stories for children that have remained unpublished due to censorship in Iran. 

The translator: 

Bänoo Zan is a poet, librettist, translator, teacher, editor and poetry curator, with more than 200 published poems as well as three books, including Songs of Exile and Letters to My Father. She is the founder of Shab-e She’r, Toronto’s most diverse poetry reading and open mic series (inception: 2012).  

About the contributor

Related Articles

Anna Szabó T. poems in translation

Anna Szabó T. (b. 1972 in Kolozsvár, Romania) poet, translator, author of 22 books of original poetry, 2 books of prose. She translated 76 childern books from English including Beatrix Potter and Dr. Seuss. She is the winner of numerous literary prizes including the prestigious József Attila prize.

Four poems by Guido Cupani translated by Patrick Williamson

Guido’s geographical and cultural roots lie in the Friuli region but he has the theoretical awareness of the astrophysicist,

Jesus in the Tree, essay by Diana Powell

Diana Powell on why what a writer knows can be found in the most surprising details of a story

More Like This

Dancing With Carol by Brendan Landers

Brendan Landers on the trial and tribulations of your love at the Baldoyle Village Hall

Poetry by Anita Patel

Anita Patel's collection, 'A Common Garment' (Recent Work Press), was published in 2019. She was the guest editor for Issue 2 of Not Very Quiet Journal.

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer in the translation of Glenn Hubbard

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer’s poems retain the flavor of romantic love, and Glenn Hubbard’s translation daintily captures the splendours of nature and the beauty of the beloved in the original poetry.

Poet Marguerite Harrold

Poetry rooted in family and community by Marguerite Harrold

Poetry by Marjory Woodfield

In this set of poem, Marjory Woodfield takes inspiration from travel.