Lesson 63: Sohrab Sepehri - Dar Golestāné, Part 3


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 episode 63 of Learn Persian with Chai and Conversation. As you know, we are now in the poetry series of our podcast, getting a more in depth understanding of the Persian language through poetry.

 

The past couple of weeks, we have been discussing Sohrab Sepehri’s dar golestan. Now, we keep mentioning Shahram Nazeri’s version of this song, and as a very special treat, we’re going to play a section of that song at the end of this podcast. And if you’ve been following us diligently and practicing this poem, you’ll be able to understand all of it!

 

So now, again, let’s listen to my aunt Farnaz recite the whole selection of the poem that we’ve been learning

 

dashthayee cheh faragh

koohhayee cheh boland

dar golestaneh cheh booyeh alafee meeyamad

 

 

zendegee khaalee neest

mehrabani hast

seeb hast

eeman hast

aree,

ta shaghayegh hast, zendegee bayad kard

 

dar deleh man cheezee hast, mesleh yek beesheyeh noor, mesleh khaabeh dameh sobh

 

va chenan beetabam, keh delam meekhahad

bedavam ta taheh dash

beravam ta sareh kooh

doorha avayee hast

keh mara meekhaanad

 

So we went over the middle section of the poem last week- if you haven’t heard it yet, go back to Lesson 62 and take a listen. In this lesson, we’re going to go a bit out of order. We’re going to go over the next line of the poem, and the very last two lines of the poem. The reason we’re doing this is because the leftover lines are related with similar language, so it’ll make more sense if we learn those parts together. We want to take these poetry lessons nice and slowly so that you can completely understand the language in them and so you won’t feel overwhelmed. So, let’s listen to the complete next line.

 

dar deleh man cheezee hast, mesleh yek beesheyeh noor, mesleh khaabeh dameh sobh

 

So that first line- dar deleh man cheezee hast. Let’s go over the two nouns in this sentence first. The word del means heart. Del

 

Again, after I say a word, I will pause for you to say it out loud. Del

(del)

 

And the word cheez simply means thing. Cheez

 

(Cheez)

 

So quite simply, this sentence means ‘In my heart, there is something’ Dar dele man, in my heart. Dar dele man

 

(Dar deleh man)

 

So dar means in. Dar

 

(dar)

 

Dar deleh man. Man is the word for me. Man

 

(man)

 

So, we talk about this in detail in Lesson 24 of chai and conversation, but in order to show possession, you use a little device called an ezafe. That e you hear at the end of del- dele man, let’s you know that the del belongs to man. So my heart, dele man

 

(deleh man)

 

exactly, so again, in is dar

 

(dar)

 

dar deleh man means in my heart. dar deleh man

 

 

(dar deleh man)

 

cheezee hast means ‘there is a thing’. Cheezee hast

 

(cheezee hast)

 

The word cheez is very versatile and is used often in conversational Persian. So really, this sentence is saying ‘there’s something in my heart’. Dar deleh man cheezee hast

 

(dar deleh man cheezee hast)

 

Ok, one more time so we can get the pronunciation just right- dar deleh man cheezee hast

 

(dar deleh man cheezee hast)

 

Ok, now let’s listen to the next part

 

mesleh yek beesheyeh noor

 

Noor is the word for light. Noor

 

(Noor)

 

beeshe is grove. beesheh

 

(beesheh)

 

Beesheyeh noor means a grove of a light. beehsheyeh noor

 

(beesheyeh noor)

 

So again, the whole sentence

 

mesleh yek beesheyeh noor

 

The whole sentence means ‘like a grove of light’.  So this is a device often used in poetry, and we call this device a simile. To say something is like something else. Your eyes are black like a raven, or your cheeks are red like a rose. We hear it all the time. So in Persian, the mesleh means like. Mesleh

 

(mesleh)

 

Like, or similar to might be a better translation. And the word yek of course means one. Yek

 

(yek)

 

So mesleh yek beesheyeh noor means like a grove of light.

 

(mesleh yek beesheyeh noor)

 

So he’s saying in my heart there is something like a grove of light. So obviously he doesn’t mean this literally, there isn’t actually a grove of light in his heart, but it’s a nice metaphor for how he’s feeling. Beesheyeh noor is a beautiful imagery to imagine inside the human body, in this organ that we can’t really see, and that doesn’t actually see the light of day. So again,

 

Mesleh yek beesheyeh noor

 

mesleh yek beesheyeh noor

 

So let’s say the full thing together. Dar deleh man cheezee hast, mesleh yek beesheyeh noor

 

(dar deleh man cheezee hast, mesleh yek beesheyeh noor)

 

So let’s listen to the whole sentence read by my aunt again

 

dar deleh man cheezee hast, mesleh yek beesheyeh noor, mesleh khaabeh dameh sobh

 

 

Ok, so, the next part continues the metaphor with yet another image. Mesleh khaabeh dameh sobh. Again we hear that word mesleh which clues us in on the fact that this is a simile. Mesleh

 

(mesleh)

 

and Khaab is the word for sleep. Khaab

 

(khaab)

 

the word for morning is sobh

 

(sobh)

 

You can probably remember good morning, sobh bekhayr

 

(sobh bekhayr)

 

So mesleh khaabeh dameh sobh. Dam is the word for next to. Dam

 

(dam)

 

So khaabeh dameh sobh means the sleep next to morning- so that sleep that happens in the morning, when you are close to waking up. It’s a very sweet sleep, this top of the morning sleep. So khaabeh dameh sobh

 

(khaabeh dameh sobh)

 

mesleh khaabeh dameh sobh, like the morning sleep. Mesleh khaabeh dameh sobh

 

(mesleh khaabeh dameh sobh)

 

And that first simile was mesleh beesheyeh noor

 

(mesleh beesheyeh noor)

 

So let’s hear my aunt recite  it again, and then go over it line by line.

 

(dar deleh man cheezee hast)

 

mesleh  yek beesheyeh noor

 

(mesleh yek beesheyeh noor)

 

mesleh khaabeh dameh sobh

 

(mesleh khaabeh dameh sobh)

 

Ok, let’s listen to the full poem from the beginning to this part again.

 

zendegee khaalee neest

mehrabani hast

seeb hast

eeman hast

aree,

ta shaghayegh hast, zendegee bayad kard

 

dar deleh man cheezee hast, mesleh yek beesheyeh noor, mesleh khaabeh dameh sobh

 

And hopefully you got all of that so far. Now, let’s listen to the very last two lines of the poem.

 

doorha avayeest

keh mara meekhaanad

 

The first part says ‘doorha avayeest’ which is actually a poetic way of saying ‘doorha avayee hast’. So we’ve heard hast before, it means there is. In Persian poetry, it’s very common to play with words like that- avayee hast can be blended together as avayeest. The more you listen to poetry, the more you’ll understand this kind of word play. This is what makes the flow of Persian poetry so beautiful. So let’s go over these words. Ava means voice. Ava

 

(ava)

 

So avayee hast means there is a voice. Avayee hast

(Avayee hast)

 

Or as it’s said in the poem, avayeest

 

(avayeest)

 

And doorha means in the distance. Doorha

 

(doorha)

 

Door means far. Doorha means somewhere far. Doorha

 

(doorha)

 

 

keh mara meekhanad. This means, that calls to me. Meekhanad literally means it sings. So this song is singing to him. meekhanad

 

(meekhanad)

 

So meekhanad meaning it sings, or it calls. Meekhanad

 

(meekhanad)

 

Mara is a shortened version of man ra. Man is of course the word for me, and we’ve said ra doesn’t really have a direct English translation- it’s a connector, like to. So man ra, or to me. ‘mara’

 

(mara)

 

or the long version man ra

 

(man ra)

 

Keh simply means that. keh

 

(keh)

 

so keh mara meekhanad all together means that sings to me. Keh mara meekhanad

 

(keh mara meekhanad)

 

 

So let’s say it together again, keh mara meekhanad

 

(keh mara meekhanad)

 

Doorha avayee hast, keh mara meekhanad

 

(doorha avayee hast, keh mara meekhanad)

 

So again, let’s listen to the full selection of our poem. There are only a couple lines left now that we haven’t covered yet, so hopefully you understand most of it at this point.

 

dashthayee cheh faragh

koohhayee cheh boland

dar golestaneh cheh booyeh alafee meeyamad

 

 

zendegee khaalee neest

mehrabani hast

seeb hast

eeman hast

aree,

ta shaghayegh hast, zendegee bayad kard

 

dar deleh man cheezee hast, mesleh yek beesheyeh noor, mesleh khaabeh dameh sobh

 

va chenan beetabam, keh delam meekhahad

bedavam ta taheh dash

beravam ta sareh kooh

doorha avayee hast

keh mara meekhaanad

 

.

And this is a completely new thing we’re trying out, so we’d love to get your feedback about this poetry series. Please email us with any of your comments, suggestions, snide remarks- we love hearing it all. You can find our contact information at www.chaiandconversation.com with CHAI spelled CHAI.

 

Again, thanks for listening, and see you next time at episode 63 of Learn Persian with Chai and Conversation.