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Rasool Yoonan translated by Siavash Saadlou

Rasool Yoonan – 6 Untitled Poems

Translated by Siavash Saadlou



The world is dark,

like the night.

Life is an arrow

pointed towards the sun.


The roads don’t always lead to the sea.

The rain is not always beautiful.


Dreams don’t always have a good interpretation.

Yesterday wasn’t good; may tomorrow be happy and joyful.


All these thoughts are running in the mind of a horse

going home after a day of drudgery.






The sun doesn’t shine equally on everything.


My father went to sleep

in hopes of seeing tomorrow’s sunshine,

but didn’t wake up.


That means that the sun was unable

to wipe away the shadow of death from his face;

later, it shed light only on his headstone.






Objects mutate,

people undergo changes,

and some questions, too, have no answers…

So, I haven’t lost,

not having fallen in love with something or someone.

Of course I should lie down—relaxed—in this hot afternoon

and take a nap.






…and at long last,

nothing will remain from the tales of hunters

except for a dead goose on the counter.


It’s painful, but no big deal;

let them tell whatever tale they wish.


Good or bad, stories have to be created,

but don’t forget that you should live like a human.


The world is a strange place;

here, anyone who opens fire

gets killed himself.






Trains pass you by in a hurry;

foxes and horses, in desperation.

And your blue memory has evaporated

in the minds of distant geese.


Your story came to an end way too soon,

as if it were an iceberg on a fire rock,

or the flame of a match in the direction of the wind.


You died quietly—there were neither any church bells tolling,

nor was a prayer’s call heard from the mosque.

And nothing is more melancholic than

dying in loneliness.


The bereavement of your death

will later open its mouth like a scar on our bodies,

and we will be tortured under the rains of salt.






This world is like a movie

that has started in medias res…


Somebody kills,

Somebody gets killed.


Somebody sells out,

Somebody buys.


Somebody goes,

Somebody comes…


I couldn’t figure out anything!




siavashsaadlouRasool Yoonan, poet, playwright, novelist, and translator, was born in 1969 in Urmia, Iran. His debut collection of poetry, Good Day My Dear, was published in 1998. Further collections include Concert in Hell, I Was a Bad Boy, Carrying the Piano Down the Stairs of an Icy Hotel, and Be Careful; Ants Are Coming. Among Yoonan’s most recent published works are two collections of micro fiction titled You Idiot! We’re Dead and Damn It, Pick Up the Phone. Yoonan is currently the most widely read living poet in Iran. His poetry has previously been translated into Armenian and French.


siavashsaadlou2Born and raised in Iran, Siavash Saadlou is a writer, literary translator, editor, and interpreter. He is the authorized translator of Rasool Yoonan, the minimalist Iranian poet. His translations have been published or are forthcoming in Washington Square Review, Indian Review, Visions International, Blue Lyra Review, and Asymptote. Saadlou is currently an MFA Creative Writing candidate and an English Composition teaching fellow at Saint Mary’s College of California.