Nahid Ensafpour (Iran)

Nahid Ensafpour (Iran)
Nahid Ensafpour was born in Teheran and has been living in Germany since 1985. On arriving in Germany, Nahid was struck by the close connection between Goethe and Persian poetry, in particular, with the work of the poet Hafez, that is especially evident as the inspiration for Goethe‘s West-Eastern Divan, a lyrical collection of some 235 poems. Motivated by a desire to tell others about her own experiences and history, Nahid herself began writing poetry.
At the age of 18, she enjoyed an education in classical Persian singing. In 1991, she graduated from the University of Munich, having obtained the official German language certificate from the German Education Authorities and the Foreign Office. In April 2015 she completed her correspondence course studies at the Cornelia Goethe Academy, Frankfurt/Main with a degree in Creative Writing.
In tandem with pursuing her career, she is currently studying New German Literature and Philosophy at the distance-learning University of Hagen.
Nahid is a member of the “Licio Poetico de Benidorm“ World Writers‘ Association and of the Leipzig Schiller Association and the Goethe Society in Cologne.
She writes poems, prose and translates poetry. Her poetry have been published in numerous German and international anthologies. Many of her poems have been translated into several languages.
How often we read in novels and biographies of a life in exile. The term usually remains unclear, clouded in mist behind the veil of our imagination. However, the profound essence of the term has become fundamental to me. A life in exile is not a free ticket to the movies or a walk in the park. Those who go into exile leave behind a great deal, in fact, virtually everything.
Having arrived at the destination, the fight for survival begins. This is the start of the struggle to fulfil normal human needs in the face of the tribulations of everyday life and time. Uncertainty of the future set against certainty of loss, the knowledge that there is no return….all this is brutal and can crush the spirit. Uprooted, mute, without a language of one’s own, without an identity of one’s own, banished from one’s old life and at the mercy of strange new living conditions, forever alien and homeless, but at some point, a new door will open for those who dare step through it. It means learning a new language, a foreign culture that open up new views and perspectives. Yes, the power of a new language can create a home where the human psyche can nest, take its place, yet always with the awareness that nowhere in the world will be a completely safe refuge….. always ready to move on.
The Bridge
“for A”
From the bank
across the river
came a loud cry
confused, unknowing
how I could help her
no-one else
came to her rescue
louder and louder
still she cried
till a raging strength
took hold of me
and I grew and grew
far beyond myself
and arched
across the river
to become a bridge
but just as she was
about to cross
I broke.
My turbulent soul
Oh, brutal storm of my turbulent soul,
your rage reaches down
to the depths of my heart,
and breaks all that is still whole in me,
I can only watch you impotently
shuddering at your power,
how can I tame you
and tear off these chains?
you shackle me,
your heart is full of greed,
ruling my life, shattered,
I tremble you tyrant,
and finally, I bow down
you sweep me up
and I am yours.
On the shoreline of life
From the shoreline of life
I watch the stormy sea.
Dark sky, crashing waves
meet and unite on the horizon
and on the sea.
As the storm clouds
slowly drift away
a serene calm returns.
The raging storm has given
birth to a tranquil calm.
A gentle rocking peace
and serenity reign till
they give way
to renewed force
and a new mighty
power is born
to run its course.
Nothing is as harmonious as it seems
With a gentle smile
life embraces me
peace and contentment
overwhelm me.
I close my eyes
and feel
the world rocking me.
Happiness plants a kiss
on my forehead
and I hear
the music of being
all is harmony
that enfolds me.
Then all of a sudden
from the depths of my being
comes a cry
that tells me
nothing is as harmonious
as it seems.
Translated from German into English by Marion Godfrey

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