Prison Poem: Wayfarer of Heart and Soul

, , 1 Comment

Mr. Reza’i (1) told his friend that he wrote this poem for the friends who take part in Study Circles outside Iran. He explained the imagery in the poem as follows: the Baha’is of the world are like a single body. Much in the same way that for a body to move forward one foot must be fixed on the ground for the other to be put forward, the friends in prison in Iran are like the foot fixed on the ground while  those in free countries, who can teach the Faith freely, are like the other foot which can move and take the whole body forward. The other imagery is that of a heart: Baha’is of the world are like a heart. In the same way that one side of the heart receives the dark blood and the other side pushes the red, well- oxygenated blood to the body, the friends incarcerated in Iran receive the tribulations, so that those outside can push fresh blood into the body of humanity.



Wayfarer of Heart and Soul

By: Sa’id Reza’i

Translated by: Nasser 

I remained in the night

You pushed ahead toward the full sun

I remained in chains

You soared to the greatest heights.

This story, yours and mine, is an unusual saga

The story of one body

The tales of one heart

The narrative of one soul

Of its lips, singing

Of its dreams of flight

The story of two hands, tied

Of feet, in chains.

This story, yours and mine,

Is the story of departure, and of remaining

And of strides, each facing a mountain.

Have you heard the pulse of steps on the rocks?

Or have you seen a child climbing a tree?

One foot must remain, steadfast and patient

For the other to seek upper branches, higher grounds

To take flight and to find new paths.

When I saw you stride high, boundless like the wind,

I challenged my own limitations and doubts

And embraced the pain that was my lot

And I stood fast on the ground

Undeterred by the harshness of thorns and stones.

You soared beyond limits

Beyond imagination and dream

And my pain became my joy

And the harsh path ahead felt as soft as the clouds above.

I make a pledge to stand fast on the ground

For you to remain the light-footed wayfarer of heart and soul.

This story, yours and mine,

Is that of a loving heart

Beating and beating

Within the ailing body of our world

That suffers from an ancient pain

And is thirsty for new blood and fresh air.

Let me take away the darkness and the stale air

And make room for the fresh breeze and the new scent that you bring

For the worst pain, I swear, is nothing but pure joy

If it means happiness for all humanity, black and white and native and oriental.

Our story: a tale of union and separation

Of the burning candle that shed tears and gave light.

Of the nightingale and the moth

The lovers of song and flight

The narrators of the story of the candle

The timeless secret of its desire to fly

And its destined share of burning and singing.

Thus, you opened your wings

And you sang my pain

You heard and you told

You sang and you soared

Towards the daylight, towards the bright sun

Above all summits

Over all clouds.

And I pledge

That I shall remain bright

And I shall continue to recite

So that you keep the story alive

And sing the song of the friend

And remain the wayfarer of heart and soul.



1- Sa’id Reza’i is one the seven Baha’i leaders known as Yaran. He is currently serving a 20 year sentence in prison. For more information please visit





One Response

Leave a Reply