The Dictator's Message

The Dictator’s Message


O poets


we have swept

your homeland clean

of thorns and splinters


O writers


to make a record of your works

we have ordered paper from all over the world


O mothers


we have made all the prisons

into schools and universities


O young people


and for your country’s future

lay a new foundation


O painters


and on war’s blood-soaked walls

paint the white dove of peace


O architects


and for all these returnees

build their houses over corpses

of their dead, who stayed and struggled


Bibliographical info

Mina Assadi's "The Dictator's Message" translated by Dick Davis from The Mirror of My Heart: A Thousand Years of Persian Poetry by Women. Copyright © 2019 by Mage Publishers. Used with permission of Mage Publishers. All rights reserved.

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