Liz’s Weekly Poetry Series: Iranian Poet Executed

by lizard

I wrote a post last June about killing poets. In that post I looked at allegations that Pablo Neruda was poisoned by agents of Pinochet’s regime. That suspicion was put to rest after tests from the exhumed remains of Neruda found no evidence of poison.

The same can’t be said for Hashem Shaabani, an Iranian poet who was killed by hanging after being imprisoned and tortured for 3 years:

Freedom House has condemned the execution in Iran of acclaimed poet and activist Hashem Shaabani.

The watchdog said Shaabani, 32, was put to death on January 27.

An Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal reportedly had sentenced the poet to death, along with 14 others, last July on charges that included “waging war on God.”

Rouhani approved the execution of the Iranian poet and 13 other activists, providing a great opportunity for those who would love to see diplomacy with Iran fail.

I went to my library to look for a poem today, and decided something from the Persian poet Rumi would be appropriate.



Inside this new love, die.
Your way begins on the other side.
Become the sky.
Take an axe to the prison wall.
Walk out like someone suddenly born into color.
Do it now.
You’re covered with thick cloud.
Slide out the side. Die,
and be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign
that you’ve died.
Your old life was a frantic running
from silence.

The speechless full moon
comes out now.

  1. Big Swede

    Good find.

  2. ah, rumi (and his translator). reminded me of this one from the blue whore. happy heat wave and winter silence.


    Nothing prepares you
    for the tracks in the snow
    that turn to muddy
    memory. A green hunter
    when you were young,
    when everything mattered,
    when there was a clear motive,
    a reason and a name,
    something you could explain —
    the blame you needed,
    so you could kill
    what needed killing.

    And what didn’t need it
    back then? So much
    was so wrong with everything.
    Holocaust survivors
    committed suicide
    in Safeway parking lots.
    Grizzly bears got radio collars —
    narked on themselves.
    Who didn’t huff, puff,
    snort, and grind teeth
    under chemical clouds?
    There was blood in the streets,
    on the castle stairs. It wasn’t a dream:
    the world went crooked
    & Big Brother played guitar.

    You knew it all and how (and why).
    Their failed mythology
    paraded decrepitly
    beneath the machine
    that measured, discarded,
    and ignored. Chaos never cared,
    still doesn’t. Do you?
    You’ve been under the influence
    all of your life. Hell of a trip —
    knowing less the further you go,
    and being okay with that;
    ready for the end, the tunnel
    of light or dark, regardless;
    ready for sleep, ready for quiet.
    No more dogma. Voiceless,
    you can finally begin.

  3. lizard19

    I posted a link on another forum, Moon of Alabama, and the host responded with his perspective:

    @Lizard –

    I find no evidence, but the claims of that guy, that he is a “poet”.
    I find some evidence that he is an Arab separatists who wants to split Ahwaz from Iran.

    That you quote “freedom house” demolishes your post. Note that there is a list of concrete crimes that Iran lists variously as “against the will of god” or such. Anything that is active violence against the state is in the “Moharebeh” category but the judgements in Iran are not about the category but about the evident crime. Threatening a policeman is Moharebeh just as a terror attack is. Freedom house and others use these category designations as a propaganda tool against Iran. It also lets them avoid to name the real exact crime a person is accused and probably guilty of.

  1. 1 152 Poetry Posts to Celebrate April, National Poetry Month | 4&20 blackbirds

    […] Iranian Poet Executed […]

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