Lesson 89: Ahmad Shamlou - Raz, Part 2

In this lesson, we go over the first half of Ahmad Shamlou's poem, Rāz. Here is the Persian script and English transliteration of this section:

 

با من رازی بود

که به کوه گفتم

با من رازی بود

که به چاه گفتم

تو راه دراز

به اسب سیاه گفتم

بیکس و تنها

به سنگای راه گفتم

 

bā man rāzee bood,

ké bé kooh goftam

bā man rāzee bood,

ké bé chāh goftam,

too rāhé derāz,

bé asbé seeyāh goftam

bee kas ō tanhā,

bé sanghāyé rāh goftam

Listen Now:

GREETINGS:

salām
hello
سَلام
chetor-ee
how are you?
چِطوری؟

Note: In Persian, as in many other languages, there is a formal and an informal way of speaking. We will be covering this in more detail in later lessons. For now, however, chetor-ee is the informal way of asking someone how they are, so it should only be used with people that you are familiar with. hālé shomā chetor-é is the formal expression for ‘how are you.’

Spelling note: In written Persian, words are not capitalized. For this reason, we do not capitalize Persian words written in phonetic English in the guides.


ANSWERS:

khoobam
I’m well
خوبَم

Pronunciation tip: kh is one of two unique sounds in the Persian language that is not used in the English language. It should be repeated daily until mastered, as it is essential to successfully speak Persian. Listen to the podcast for more information on how to make the sound.

Persian English
salām hello
chetor-ee how are you?
khoobam I’m well
merci thank you
khayli very
khayli khoobam I’m very well
khoob neestam I’m not well
man me/I
bad neestam I’m not bad
ālee great
chetor-een? how are you? (formal)
hālé shomā chetor-é? how are you? (formal)
hālet chetor-é? how are you? (informal)
khoob-ee? are you well? (informal)
mamnoonam thank you
chetor peesh meeré? how’s it going?
ché khabar? what’s the news? (what’s up?)
testeeeee

Hello and welcome to Lesson 89 of Learn Persian with Chai and Conversation. My name is Leyla and I’m your teacher for the course.  In the last lesson we talked about the poem Raz by Ahmad Shamlou with our friend Tehran von Ghasri. We went over the meaning of the poem, and did a general translation as well. If you haven’t heard that lesson yet, go back and listen to it. In this lesson, we go over the individual words and phrases learned in the poem, and we also learn how to use your words and phrases in every day conversation. You don’t need to know any Persian to be able to understand this lesson, and it’s a great way to learn some great words and phrases in context. Remember that this audio lesson is only one part of the Chai and Conversation learning system- if you log into our website at chaiandconversation.com, you can get access to the bonus materials for this lesson which have all the words and phrases we learn written in phonetic English, ways to listen to each of the words and lines of the poems individually so you can really learn them, and lots of other learning materials. We’ll talk about that more after the lesson, but for now, let’s get right into it.

In this lesson, we’re going to be learning the first half of the poem, Raz by Ahmad Shamlou. My aunt Farnaz has a beautiful voice that you’ve heard before if you’ve listened to the podcast, but first, let’s listen to her read the entire poem. 

با من رازی بود

که به کوه گفتم

با من رازی بود

که به چاه گفتم

تو راه دراز

به اسب سیاه گفتم

بیکس و تنها

به سنگای راه گفتم

با راز کهنه

از راه رسیدم

حرفی نروندم

حرفی نروندی

اشکی فشوندم

اشکی فشوندی

لبامو بستم

از چشام خوندی

 

Bā man rāzee bood

Ké bé kooh goftam

Bā man rāzee bood

Ok, so like I said, we’re going to go over the poem word by word line by line and really understand the words and phrases in the poem, so you might not have understood a word so far, but by the end of this lesson and the next, you’ll be able to understand the whole thing. It’s like magic! 

So first, let’s listen to the first line:

Bā man rāzee bood

Ok, first word we should learn is one that is repeated many times in the poem, and that is the word rāz. Rāz is the Persian word for secret. So when I say a word, I want you to repeat it after me, out loud. Rāz

 

(Rāz)

 

And keep in mind that we have an Persian ‘r’ here, which means you need to roll the R. Rāz

 

(rāz)

 

So that’s the whole point of the poem, that there’s this secret, this rāz. So again, rāz.

 

(rāz)

 

Bā man rāzee bood. Man is the word for me. Man

 

Man

 

And is with.

 

 

Bā man means with me. Bā man

 

Ba man

 

And the last word in that phrase is bood which means was. Bood

 

Bood

 

Ba man razee bood all together means with me, there was a secret. Ba man razee bood

 

Ba man razee bood

 

So why does the word rāz have an ee after it. Rāzee is the way to say a particular secret, and specifies that there’s one. Rāzee- a secret. So just rāz by itself means ‘secret’ whereas ‘rāzee’ means ‘a secret.’ So rāzee

 

Rāzee

 

Ok, let’s move on to the next line

 

Ké bé kooh goftam

 

So the word kooh means mountain. Kooh

 

Kooh

 

Ke is the word for that. Ke

 

Ke

 

is the word for to.

 

 

And finally, goftam is the first person conjugation for I told. Goftam

 

Goftam

 

So all together ke be kooh goftam means that I told the mountain. Ke be kooh goftam

 

Ké bé kooh goftam

 

So that I told the mountain- ké bé kooh goftam

 

Ké bé kooh goftam

 

Now let’s listen to these first two lines again:

 

Bā man rāzee bood

Ké bé kooh goftam

 

And let’s repeat the two together, one by one: bā man rāzee bood

 

Bā man rāzee bood

 

Ké bé kooh goftam

 

Ké bé kooh goftam

 

All right, let’s hear my khālé Farnaz read the next two lines:

 

 

Bā man rāzee bood

Ké bé chāh goftam

 

So this is kind of like cheating and why this poem is so great for people learning Persian- because it has so much repetition. So repeat after me, bā man rāzee bood

 

(bā man rāzee bood)

 

And this as we covered before means ‘with me, there was a secret’.

Next line

 

Ké bé chāh goftam

 

 

So this is exactly like what we learned before- ké bé kooh goftam. Kooh means mountain and chāh means well. So chāh

 

Chāh

 

Meaning a well, like with water. So we went from kooh which means mountain, kooh

 

Kooh

 

To chāh which means well, chāh

 

chāh

 

So let’s repeat this again, keh bé chāh goftam

 

Keh bé chāh goftam

 

And let’s repeat ke be kooh goftam

 

Ke be kooh goftam

 

Ok, next two lines:

 

 

تو راه دراز

به اسب سیاه گفتم

 

Too rāhé derāz

Bé asbé seeyāh goftam

 

So this is a different structure than the first four lines. Let’s listen to the first one:

 

Too rāhé derāz

 

So too is the word for in. too

 

Too

 

And rāh means path or way. Rāh

 

Rāh

 

And finally, derāz is the word for long. Derāz.

 

Derāz.

 

And we have one more little sound there, and that’s the é after rāh. Rāhé. So the e sound there is called an ezafe, which means an addition. And what the ezāfé does is link a word with the next word. So rāhé derāz. Deraz is a descriptor meaning long and it’s describing the word rāh or path. So it’s saying the long path. And the ezafe sound links the two, letting you know that long is connected to path. Rāhé derāz

 

Rāhé deraz

 

Long path. Another example comes in the next sentence, so let’s listen to it:

 

Bé asbé seeyāh goftam

 

Ok, so do you hear the ezāfé there? It’s in asbé seeyāh. So the word asb means horse. Asb

 

Asb

 

And seeyāh means black. Seeyāh.

 

Seeyāh

 

And so they’re linked together- the black horse, with the ezāfé. Asbé seeyāh

 

Asbé seeyāh.

 

And the rest of the sentence you should understand- again means to

 

 

And goftam means I told. Goftam

 

Goftam

 

So I told the black horse- bé asbé seeyāh goftam

 

Bé asbé seeyāh goftam.

 

So again, let’s go back- he has a secret. And who all has he told it to? Let’s review: bé kooh goftam

 

Bé kooh goftam

 

Which means, I told the mountain. Bé chāh goftam

 

Bé chāh goftam

 

Meaning I told the well

 

And finally, bé asbé seeyāh goftam

 

Bé asbé seeyāh goftam

 

I told the black horse

 

 So in those other sentences, we also had the word ké to start the sentence. means that. So ké bé kooh goftam means ‘that I told the mountain. Ké be kooh goftam

 

Ke bé kooh goftam

 

And ké bé chah goftam

 

ké bé chah goftam

 

That I told the well.

 

And finally bé asbé seeyāh goftam

 

bé asbé seeyāh goftam

 

Ok, let’s listen to our current two lines again:

 

Too rāhé derāz

Bé asbé seeyāh goftam

 

So again, in the long path, I told the black horse-

 

Too rāhé derāz

 

Too rāhé derāz

 

Bé asbé seeyāh goftam

 

And now, the last two lines we’re going to go over in this lesson:

 

 

بیکس و تنها

به سنگای راه گفتم

 

 

Beekas ō tanhā

Bé sanghāyé rāh goftam

 

Ok! So first let’s go over that last line, because you should be able to understand it once I tell you the one word you don’t know- and that is the word sang

 

Sang

 

And sang means stone or rock. Sang

 

Sang

 

And sanghā makes it plural. Sanghā

 

Sanghā

 

So stones. Sanghā

 

Sanghā

 

Sanghāyé rāh. We learned rāh means path, or way. Rāh.

 

Rāh

 

So what is sanghayé rāh? It means stones of the path. So again, the é sound here is an ezafe, and it links the word stones to the word path. So which stones are they? They’re the path’s stones. Sanghāyé rāh

 

Sanghāyé rāh

 

And the reason it’s yé and not é is because sanghā ends with a vowel. So you can’t say sangā-é- it’s actually sanghāyé. 

 

Sanghāyé

 

So bé sanghayé rāh goftam means I told the stones on the path. bé sanghayé rāh goftam

 

bé sanghayé rāh goftam

 

And then the first line- bee kas ō tanhā. So first off, kas is the word for person, being. Bee kas means without a being. So all alone. Bee kas

 

Bee kas

 

Ō is simply the word for and. Ō

 

Ō

 

Now this is a conversational and. And is also, va

 

Va

 

So you could say it either way. Va or ō. In this case, it’s ō

 

Ō

 

And tanhā means alone. Tanhā

 

Tanhā

 

So both mean the same thing- without anyone else and alone. Just really driving the fact that the poet is all by themselves- bee kas ō tanhā

 

Bee kas ō tanhā

 

And finally bé sanghāyé rāh goftam 

 

bé sanghāyé rāh goftam

 

meaning without anyone else and all alone, I told the stones in the path. So the poet is just so alone, the only things he had to tell this secret to were these stones in the path at the end. He’s told the mountain, he’s told the well, he’s told the black horse, and finally, there’s nothing left to talk to besides these stones he’s on a path with. 

 

Ok, let’s listen to the entire first half of the poem now, read by my khālé Farnaz:

 

 

با من رازی بود

که به کوه گفتم

با من رازی بود

که به چاه گفتم

تو راه دراز

به اسب سیاه گفتم

بیکس و تنها

به سنگای راه گفتم

 

And with that, we’re going to end the lesson. Next week we’ll be back for the next half of the poem. Now, I’m going to urge you to really study this first half this week, even to the point of memorizing the poem! And to help you do this, we have a ton of extra bonus materials to help you learn on our website at www.chaiandconversation.com, with CHAI spelled CHAI. There, you’ll find a pdf guide for this lesson, and you can also listen to each of these words and lines individually to help you learn better. You can get access to these bonus materials with a free 30 day trial to our program. All the information and more is there on our website at chai and conversation.com

 

And until next week,

Khodahafez from Leyla