Lesson 64: Sohrab Sepehri - Dar Golestāné, Part 4

In this final part of our Sohrab Sepehri dar golestāné series we cover the rest of the vocabulary covered in the poem. After this lesson, you will be able to understand the entirety of the selection of the poem we heard. 


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 64 of Learn Persian with Chai and Conversation. In this lesson, we’re going to conclude our language lesson of Sohrab Sepehri’s Dar Golestaneh. To begin, we’re going to hear the full poem as recited by my aunt Farnaz. If you’ve been listening to us up to this point, you should have an understanding of most of the words in this poem, which is pretty exciting!

 

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 dasht

beravam ta sareh kooh

doorha avayee hast

keh mara meekhaanad

 

 

So like we said, we’ve been going a bit out of order with learning the vocab in this poem, and that is because this last section is going to cover language that mirrors itself. If you remember our discussion with Fared,  he made the observation that Sohrab Sepehri in this poem begins with some strong imagery- he places us in a certain place. So in this case, he starts us in this golestaneh, in a place of flowers, and he describes what we see and what we smell. So let’s listen to that part:

 

dashthayee cheh farakh

koohhayee cheh boland

dar golestaneh cheh booyeh alafee meeyamad

 

This imagery gets repeated in the end of the poem- so let’s go over the language that is repeated, and that is two things you see often in nature. One is dasht

 

(dasht)

 

And that means open fields. The second is kooh

 

(kooh)

 

And that means mountains

 

So these are two very different things you see in nature, mountains, and fields. So the word dasht by itself is singular. So field. When he opens the poem, Sepehri says ‘dashthayee’. Dashthayee

 

(dashthayee)

 

So this refers to fields- plural and grand. So the fields so wide- not just this one wide field. You’re in place where you’re surrounded by open fields. Which is what farakh means, it means wide- so in this context a wide, open field. Farakh

 

(farakh)

 

And the last word in that phrase- dashthayee cheh farakh, is cheh. cheh

 

(cheh)

 

And that simply means what. So he’s saying what wide fields. Dashthayee cheh farakh

 

(dashthayee cheh farakh)

 

So in this golestaneh, place of flowers, he is at, there are such wide fields. What wide fields! Dashthayee cheh farakh

 

(dashthayee cheh farakh)

 

Next, he echoes this sentence by saying koohhayee cheh boland. Now, you should know kooh is mountain, and koohhayee is mountains. Koohhayee

 

(koohhayee)

 

And boland simply means tall. Boland

 

(boland)

 

So koohhayee cheh boland, what tall mountains. Koohhayee cheh boland

 

(koohhayee cheh boland)

 

So by stating it this way, Sepehri is really showing his awe at these elements of nature in the golestaneh. Ok, moving on, the next sentence,

 

(dar golestaneh cheh booyeh alafee meeyamad)

 

Hopefully you remember dar golestaneh because it’s the name of this poem- golestaneh is the place of flowers. Golestaneh

 

(golestaneh)

 

And dar means in. Dar

 

(dar)

 

So dar golestaneh, in the place of flowers. Dar golestaneh

 

(dar golestaneh)

 

We also hear booyeh alafee, so let’s break that down. The word boo means smell. Boo

 

(boo)

 

and alaf is the word for grass, or more specifically, of weeds. So booyeh alaf means the smell of grass

 

(booyeh alaf)

 

so cheh booyeh alafee meeyamad. We covered cheh before- it means what. Cheh

 

(cheh)

 

And that leaves us with meeyamad. So oomadan is the word for to come. Meeyamad means there was coming- so it’s in the past. Meeyad would mean comes. So it’s a past continuous form- was coming, meeyamad

 

(meeyamad)

 

So, in the place of flowers, there was coming such a smell of grass, is a literal translation. So So let’s say this whole part together. Dar golestaneh cheh booyeh alafee meeyamad.

 

(dar golestaneh cheh booyeh alafee meeyamad)

 

Let’s hear my aunt read those first three lines again:

 

 

 

dashthayee cheh faragh

koohhayee cheh boland

dar golestaneh cheh booyeh alafee meeyamad

 

And now let’s go to the last part:

 

va chenan beetabam, keh delam meekhahad

bedavam ta taheh dasht

beravam ta sareh kooh

 

Now, this part contains quite a bit of language that’s more poetic than conversational. So we’ll go over how it’s said in the poem, and how you would say this in conversation, since we’re trying to still work on our conversational language anyway. So, the first part

 

va chenan beetabam

 

Va is a simple word that means and. You hear this all the time in Persian language. Va

 

(va)

 

Then chenan beetabam. Beetab is the word for restless or impatient. So beetab

 

(beetab)

 

And beetabam means I am restless beetabam

 

Chenan is the word you wouldn’t often hear in conversation. It’s a dramatic way of saying so, or how. How restless am I. chenan beetabam

 

(chenan beetabam)

 

In conversation, you would probably just say che, meaning how. Che beetabam

 

(che beetabam)

 

Chenan is a bit more dramatic and a little too formal for conversation. So chenan beetabam versus just che beetabam, or khayli beetabam- I am very restless. But let’s say it as it’s said in the poem, chenan beetabam

 

(chenan beetabam)

 

So again, va chenan beetabam

 

(va chenan beetabam)

 

The next part:

 

(keh delam meekhahad)

 

This is another phrase you wouldn’t say like this in conversation. Let’s break it down. Keh means that. Keh

 

keh

 

And del is the word for heart. del

 

del

 

So delam is my heart. Delam

 

delam

 

Meekhahad is the word for wants. Meekhahad

 

meekhahad

 

So this phrase says ‘that my heart wants’. Keh delam meekhahad

 

keh delam meekhahad

 

Now the part that is not conversational is that in conversation, you would simply say ‘keh delam meekhad’ So meekhahad becomes meekhad. Meekhad

 

meekhad

 

In the poem, with the rhythm, it worked better to have the written formal version of the word, meekhahad. But no one talks that way. So delam meekhahad becomes delam meekhad in conversation. But not in this poem! Let’s hear the full line again,

 

va chenan beetabam, keh delam meekhahad

 

And let’s hear the very last part that we haven’t covered yet:

 

bedavam ta taheh dasht

beravam ta sareh kooh

 

 

Now two words here should be familiar to you. The first is dasht- what does that mean?

 

And hopefully you got that it means ‘field.’ Dasht

 

dasht

 

And the last is the word kooh- what does that mean?

 

And hopefully you got that kooh means mountain. Kooh

 

So first he says ‘bedavam ta taheh dasht’. taheh dasht means the edge of the field- tah is the word for end or edge, and taheh dasht means end of the field. Taheh dasht

 

taheh dasht

 

And the word ta simply means until, ta

 

ta

 

Bedavam is another word that’s different written vs spoken. Bedavam is the formal version of the first person conjugation for to run. Bedavam

 

bedavam

 

So bedavam ta taheh dasht means to run to the end of the field, in first person. Bedavam ta taheh dasht

 

In conversation, bedavam would be bedoam. Bedoam

 

bedoam

 

And this is the thing about Persian, it just changes all these words up in conversation- that’s what makes conversational Persian difficult to learn, and what makes our podcast unique. Outside of poetry and written persian, no one would actually say ‘bedovam’- but for some reason, most sources still teach it that way. But anyhow, in the poem, the full line is bedavam ta taheh dasht

 

bedavam ta taheh dasht

 

which means to run to the end of the field. And the next line

 

beravam ta sareh kooh

 

So sar is the word for head. sar

 

sar

 

So sareh kooh is the head of the mountain, meaning the top of the mountain. Sareh kooh

 

sareh kooh

 

And similarly, beravam is the written, formal version of to go. Beravam

 

beravam

 

In conversational speech, this gets shortened to beram

 

beram

 

So beravam ta sareh kooh

 

beravam ta sareh kooh

 

or you can say ‘beram ta sareh kooh’

 

beram ta sareh kooh

 

So let’s listen to my aunt read this last part once more

 

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 dasht

beravam ta sareh kooh

doorha avayee hast

keh mara meekhaanad

 

And that brings us to the end of our lesson.