Dialogue (24)

Bänoo Zan


I am your metaphor—

mortal human word—


you know metaphor

is an untrue truth


Oh, unknown poem,

how do I translate me

into you?


In this wonderland

we begin and end

at different times

rhyming together

in the long poem—life—


as beauty stands for you


I am not

your parody

or allusion

or a foreign word

in your mother tongue


My rhyme scheme

unrhymed in your absence,

my pun de-punned

in your presence


Oh, unique poem,

translate your-

self into me


Where does translation end

and creation start?



write me in the

language of life


I don’t know if I am

to write my poem

or translate you


Oh, love,


you know translation

is an untrue poem

Bänoo Zan
moved to Canada from Iran in 2010. In her country of origin, she taught English, literature and literary translation at university level. Her poetry and poetry translations have appeared in various magazines, notably The Calling, Voices, Magnapoets, Protest Poems, Zanan, PEN International, Knot Magazine, Danoush, Nafeh and the Ilanot Review. Her book, The Song of Phoenix: Life and Works of Sylvia Plath, was reprinted in 2010. She hosts Poetry Gallery Series in Toronto. This poem was originally published in Farsi and then translated into English by the author.