When you laughed at me,

little did you know

the dread with which I had stolen

that apple from our neighbour’s garden.


The gardener angrily chased me away

and, seeing the bitten apple fall

to earth from your hand,

gave me such a look.


Off you went, but for years

your footsteps echoed gently, gently

in my mind as I wondered why our garden

didn’t have an apple tree like that.


Hamid Mossadegh (1939-1998)




I laughed at you because

I did know with what dread

you had stolen that apple

from the neighbour’s garden.


And when my old father chased you

and you didn’t know it was my father

I laughed at you in order to respond to your love

in a blameless way.


But the tears in your eyes

brought a tremor to my hands

and when the half-eaten apple fell,

my heart said: Go,


not wanting to carry your bitter cry.

Now for years your tears of choked

surprise have echoed gently, gently

in my mind, tormenting me


with doubt as to what

might have happened

if our garden had not had

that apple tree.

Forugh Farrokhzad (1935 – 1967)

Translated by Martin and Farah Turner, September 2009