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poetry Truth and Falsehood

The Persian American poet draws on ancient tradition to condemn a certain political leader's confusion of truth and falsehood in our own times.

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 By Majid Naficy

I read in Egyptian papyruses
That Truth and Falsehood were brothers.
One day Truth borrowed Falsehood’s dagger
But lost it by misfortune.
Falsehood took the case to court,
Claimed the dagger was irreplaceable
And asked the judge in return
To blind Truth and order him
To become the doorkeeper of Falsehood’s house.

Today, too, a false little man
Has blinded Truth
By his repetitious denial of facts
And made him the doorkeeper of his house
And stopped journalists and scientists
Who are the gatekeepers of the house of Truth
From questioning and researching.

If you believe in Truth
Cleanse the house from Falsehood
And, as the child of Truth in the Egyption legend,
Rise to seek justice for Truth
Until his eyes shine again.

Majid Naficy, the Arthur Rimbaud of Persian poetry, fled Iran in 1983, a year and a half after the execution of his wife, Ezzat in Tehran. Since 1984 Majid has been living in West Los Angeles. He has published two collections of poetry in English Muddy Shoes (Beyond Baroque, Books, 1999) and Father and Son (Red Hen Press, 2003) as well as his doctoral dissertation at UCLA, Modernism and Ideology in Persian Literature (University Press of America, 1997). Majid has also published more than 20 books of poetry and essays in Persian.