Other than Marie Curie, little is known about women scientists. Ruth Lewin Sime, author of Lise Meitner: A Life in Physics, discusses the life of Meitner, a pioneer in nuclear physics and the epic story behind her co-discovery of nuclear fission.
Sime, Ruth Lewin. Lise Meitner: A Life in Physics (University of California Press, 1997).
Lise Meitner (1878-1968) was a pioneer of nuclear physics and co-discoverer, with Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann, of nuclear fission. Braving the sexism of the scientific world, she joined the prestigious Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry and became a prominent member of the international physics community. Of Jewish origin, Meitner fled Nazi Germany for Stockholm in 1938 and later moved to Cambridge, England. Her career was shattered when she fled Germany, and her scientific reputation was damaged when Hahn took full credit--and the 1944 Nobel Prize--for the work they had done together on nuclear fission. Ruth Sime's absorbing book is the definitive biography of Lise Meitner, the story of a brilliant woman whose extraordinary life illustrates not only the dramatic scientific progress but also the injustice and destruction that have marked the twentieth century.
At the outbreak of World War II, the Netherlands, just as it did during World War I, declared itself neutral. Nonethess, the Germans invaded the country on May 10, 1940. They believed that by controlling Dutch territory they would draw attention from their position in Ardennes, force British and French troops deeper into Belgium, and stop a possible British invasion of North Holland. In addtion, the Luftwaffe, was in need of airfields near the North Sea Coast, which they would gain by the invasion.
(1928- ) Houshang Ebtehaj was born in 1928 in Rasht, North of Iran. He published his first book when he was only 19 years old. He chose ‘Sayeh' /sa:yeh/ as his pen name, which means ‘shadow' / ‘shade'. Ebtehaj was active in different literary movements and gatherings and took considerable part in various literary magazines such as Sokhan and Kavian.
After the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Sayeh spent some time in prison for his ideas. He has several works in poetry almost all of which are well-known in the world of Persian literature. In his poems, he is shown as a highly motivated person in love, who has gone through years of pain and suffering. He also worked and did some meaningful researches on Hafez poems that is of high value.
O joy! O liberty! O joy of liberty! When you return, What shall I do With this melancholy heart?
Our sorrow is heavy, Our hearts are bleeding, Blood spurts from our heads to our feet, From head to foot we are wounded, From head to foot we are bloody, From head to foot we are all pain. We have exposed our loving heart to hazards For your sake.
When the tongue feared the lip, When the pen doubted the paper, Even, even our recollection dreaded to speak during dreams, We used to engrave your name in our heart Like an image on turquoise.
When in that dark street, Night followed night, And the horror of its silence Crashed on the closed window, We spread your voice like spurting blood Like a stone thrown in the swamp On the roof and at the door.
When the deceit of the beast, Disguised in Solomon's garment, Wore the ring on his finger, We used to rhyme your secret, like God's mightiest name In poetry and ode.
We spoke of Wine, of flower, of morning, Of mirror, of flight, Of Phoenix, of the sun.
We spoke of light, of goodness, Of wisdom, of love, Of faith, of hope.
That bird that journeyed in the cloud, That seed in the ground that grow into a lawn, That light that danced in the mirror, And murmured to our heart's solitude, Spoke of meeting you at every breath.
In the school, in the market, In the mosque, in the town square, In jail, in chains, We murmured your name: Liberty!, Liberty! Liberty!
Those nights, those nights, those nights, Those dark and horrible nights, Those nights of nightmare, Those nights of tyranny, Those nights of faith, Those nights of shouting, Those nights of patience and awakenings, We sought you in the street, We called your name on the roofs: Liberty!, Liberty! Liberty!
I said: "When you return I will lift my young heart Like the banner of victory, And will hoist The bloody banner On your lofty roof.
I said: "On the day that you return, I will strew this blossoming blood, Like a bouquet of rose, At your foot; And will hang My rolling arms Around your proud neck.
O liberty! See! Liberty! This carpet lying under your foot, Is dyed with blood. This flower garlands is made of blood, It is the flower of blood...
O liberty! You come through the alley of blood, But You will come and I tremble in my heart: What is this which is concealed in your hand? What is this which is twisted around your leg? O liberty! Are you Coming With chains?...
Behind this lofty mountain, Beside the pale sea, There was a girl with whom I was madly in love. As if Gali Had been created That I should love her fervently, And she should love me sweetly...
And you know O silent stars! How happy we were, Me and she were drunk in the sweet sleep of hope, And what pure happiness Laughed in my eyes and hers...
And now, O coy maidens, If you aren't dumb, Open your mouths And say what happened from that calumny? What happened to this clouded spring!
And between me and she, Now lies this vast plain, Now this long way, And this lofty mountain...
Translations by M. Alexandrian Sources: http://www.easypersian.com/houshang_ebtehaj/sineh_sardan.htm http://www.caroun.com/Research/Literature-Poems/HoushangEbtehaj.html
Celebrating The 80th Anniversary of Houshang Ebtehaj in Persian
(1933-2005) Manouchehr Atashi is a rare poet who has created a special language and diction in modern poetry. Born in the warm southern coastal region and with vivid image of the desert environment and tribal life, his poems are the poems of the fighting horsemen. He combines the coloring of sincere experience with various episodes, which gives a charming tincture to his poems.
After secondary school education in Bushir, Atashi received his BS degree in English literature in Tehran. His poetry is the poetry of the revolting warrior of the humiliated southern tribesman. He takes his work seriously and although attached to his native birthplace his poems are universal scope. In his later works Atashi has relaxed his rhythm and has moved toward direct expression of emotion.
The Lay of Regret
One morning - One true morning - If the sun rises according to your wishes;
A frame of mountain and valley, A frame of window, if the bird had reaches you -
A wide plain, wet tulips! No! A laughing sepal, A sigh of contentment and peace - O you melancholy and persistent one - O living stone, an embodiment of patience! - A defeated life would have been your portion.
We Didn’t Know
Had we advanced a bit further Our path would have perhaps led to the sea, Our sleep would have perhaps turned into dream.
Had we paddled more Perhaps we would have an agreeable wind, If we didn't return to the coast, The water would perhaps have sucked our corpses into the depth.
We were neither a rushing river, To gallop over, obstacles, sharp ends, plains to... the sea, Neither were we a moat to serve as watering trough for the mangy wolf... Nor a mangy wolf which is after its carnal desires, To submit ..... to the secret moment of a cursed death undisturbed.
We didn't who called us, when and why? whom we called and why we joined the path Or why we were delayed. .... We didn't know who we were and when we existed, And who has tied this dog inside ourselves to the chain of our vein, And when.
We don't know who we were and who we are, Whether our pain was from a wound inflected by a heavenly stone Or we ourselves are a stinking wound in the body of existence...
Mehdi Akhavan Sales (M. Omid) was born in 1928, in Mashhad, Khorasan Province, he finished secondary school there. In early 1950s, he became involved in anti-governmental riots, something common in Iran of those days, and was briefly imprisoned after the fall of the government of Dr. Mohammad Mosaddeq in 1953. His first book of poems Organ was published in 1951.
Between 1959 and 1965, he joined the governmental work force and served as a high-school teacher and a grade-school principal. He also contributed to dubbing and/or narrating educational films, in addition to writing articles for newspapers and popular magazines.
In 1959, Sales published his End of the Shahname, wherein he examined some of the contemporary socio-political problems of Iran in the context of the country's own ancient myths and legends as reported by Ferdowsi. And, a year later, he created a complementary view of the same in his From This Avesta, again indirectly criticizing the government. Retaliating, the government persecuted him and his followers as anarchists. Similar activities in 1967 landed the poet in Qasr prison for a short period.
After his release, Akhavan joined the Ministry of Education as well the National Iranian Radio and Television Organization. He died in 1990 in Tehran. His tomb is in Tous near Mashhad, near Ferdowsi's grave.
The critics consider Mehdi Akhavan Sales as one of the best contemporary Persian poets. He is one of the pioneers of Free Verse (New Style Poetry) in Persian literature, particularly of modern style epics. It was his ambition, for a long time, to introduce a fresh style in the Persian poetry.
The Moment of Visiting
The moment of visiting is near. Once more, I am a lunatic and a drunk. Once more, my heart and my hand are shaking Once more, I am in another world. Oh razor, do not scratch my face, so careless! Oh hand, do not mess up the straight of my hair! And do not embarrass me, my heart! The moment of visiting is near.
From all meaningless earthly possessions, if I acclaim Thee oh ancient land, I adore
Thee oh ancient eternal great If I adore any, thee I adore
Thee oh priceless ancient Iran Thee oh valuable jewel, I adore
Thee ancient birthplace of the great nobles Thee famous creator of the greats, I adore
Thine art and thoughts shines through the world Both thine art and thine thoughts I adore
May it be legend or history Critics and ancient stories, all I adore
Thine fantasy, I worship as truth Thine reality, as news I adore
Thine Ahuramazda and Yazatas, I revere Thine glory and Faravahar, I adore
To thine ancient prophet, I take an oath Who is a bright and wise sage, I adore
The noble Zarathustra, more so than All other sages and prophets, I adore
Humanity better than him has not seen and will not see This noblest of humanity I adore
His trios are the greatest guide for the world This impactful yet brief guide, I adore
This great Iranian was a leader This Iranian leader I adore
He Never killed, nor asked others to kill This noble path I adore
This truthful ancient sage Who went beyond the legend, I adore
The eternal intellect of the glorious Mazdak From all angles and aspects, I adore
He died bravely in the war with injustice That just lion-heart I adore
Global and just thoughts he had More of his thoughts in our path I adore
Praising thine great Mani The artist and messenger I adore
That painter of the higher spirits The truth of his paintings I adore
All types of your fertile lands All your fields, deserts, springs and rivers I adore
Thine brave and noble martyrs Who were prides of the humanity, I adore
With the help of the morning breeze, their spirits Made of Iron, I sense and I adore
Their exciting thoughts which had turned the centuries Upside down I adore
Their works of experience and messages Or maybe a few lines of news I adore
Those legendary noblemen of Just a few in each century, I adore
All thine poets and poems Same as the morning breeze I adore
Thine Ferdowsi, the legendary literary tower he erected placed in the hall of fame and glory, I adore
Thine Khayyam, the eternal anger and passion he created In our hearts and souls I adore
Thine Attar, the pains and mourns he created Takes away our breaths I adore
From that admirer of Shams, the passion That enflames the heart, I adore
From Sa’di, Hafez and Nizami All the cheers, poetry and fruits I adore
Great art thine Rasht, Gorgan and Mazandaran The same as Caspian Sea I adore
Great art thine Karoun River and Ahvaz Sweeter than sugar I adore
Glory to thine great Azerbaijan That first step to danger I adore
Esfahan, thine half of the world More than the other half I adore
Great art Khorasan the birthplace of the wise With all my heart and soul, that vast land I adore
Great art thine beautiful Shiraz The center of talent and art I adore
Thine lands of Kurdistan and Balushistan, same as The noble fruit tree I adore
Great art thine Kerman and Southern borders Thus dry and wet, sea and desert I adore
Afghanistan, our same roots which is a garden In the hands of better than the best I adore
Soqd and Kharazm and their deserts Alas Qajars had lost, but I adore
Thine Iraq and the long strips of Persian Gulf Similar to the wall of China I adore
Our ancient Caucasia to Iran A son in father’s house I adore
Thine yesterday’s legend and tomorrow’s dream In each its own, both I adore
Thus better than these two, art thee alive Thine today’s entity I adore
Thine beauty and depth were on top of the world That ultimate value and danger I adore
Once more arise to the maximum depth This new color and beauty I adore
Not Easternization, Not Westoxication, Not Tazi-fication For thee O Ancient Land I adore
Until the world remains, victorious thou shalt be Strong, awake and fortunate thou shalt be
Simin Behbahani (Khalili) was born in 1927 in Tehran, Iran, of literary parents. Her father, Abbas Khalili, writer and newspaper editor, had tens of publications to his credit. Her mother, Fakhr Ozma Arghoon (Fakhr Adel Khalatbari), was a noted feminist, teacher, writer, newspaper editor, and a poet.
Simin began writing poetry at the age of fourteen and published her first poem at same age. She used the "Char Pareh" style of Nima, a renowned poet of Persian history, and subsequently, turns to "Ghazal", a free flowing, and poetry style similar to the Western "Sonnet". She contributed to a historic development in the form of the "Ghazal", as she added theatrical subjects, and daily events and conversations into this style of poetry.
The Ghazals of Simin Behbahani are a unique style, which defines her as a one and only, and well distinguished in her style of poetry. Simin Behbahani has expanded the range of traditional Persian verse forms and produced some of the most significant works of Persian literature in the twentieth century.
She was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1997, She was also awarded a Human Rights Watch-Hellman/Hammet grant in 1998, and similarly, in 1999, the Carl von Ossietzky Medal, for her struggle for freedom of expression in Iran.
Gracefully she approached
Gracefully she approached, in a dress of bright blue silk; With an olive branch in her hand, and many tales of sorrows in her eyes. Running to her, I greeted her, and took her hand in mine: Pulses could still be felt in her veins; warm was still her body with life.
"But you are dead, mother", I said; "Oh, many years ago you died!" Neither of embalmment she smelled, Nor in a shroud was she wrapped.
I gave a glance at the olive branch; she held it out to me, And said with a smile, "It is the sign of peace; take it."
I took it from her and said, "Yes, it is the sign of...", when My voice and peace were broken by the violent arrival of a horseman. He carried a dagger under his tunic with which he shaped the olive branch Into a rod and looking at it he said to himself: "Not too bad a cane for punishing the sinners!" A real image of a hellish pain! Then, to hide the rod, He opened his saddlebag. in there, O God! I saw a dead dove, with a string tied round its broken neck.
My mother walked away with anger and sorrow; my eyes followed her; Like the mourners she wore a dress of black silk.
Stop Throwing My Country To The Wind
If the flames of anger rise any higher in this land Your name on your tombstone will be covered with dirt.
You have become a babbling loudmouth. Your insolent ranting, something to joke about.
The lies you have found, you have woven together. The rope you have crafted, you will find around your neck.
Pride has swollen your head, your faith has grown blind. The elephant that falls will not rise.
Stop this extravagance, this reckless throwing of my country to the wind. The grim-faced rising cloud, will grovel at the swamp's feet.
Stop this screaming, mayhem, and blood shed. Stop doing what makes God's creatures mourn with tears.
My curses will not be upon you, as in their fulfillment. My enemies' afflictions also cause me pain.
You may wish to have me burned , or decide to stone me. But in your hand match or stone will lose their power to harm me.
Translated by Kaveh Safa and Farzaneh Milani
For Neda Agha-Soltan
You are neither dead, nor will you die.
You will always remain alive.
You have an eternal existence.
You are the voice of the people of Iran.
Remembering July 8, 1999
On Thursday evening, July 8, 1999, soldiers and vigilantes invaded a dormitory at the University of Tehran. This had been the first day of student protests against the new censorship laws and the forced closing of the newspaper Salam. The invaders attacked the students, beating many and throwing some out of the windows. The poem “Banu, Our Lady” is an expression of outrage by Simin Behbahani, author of over a dozen books of poetry in Persian and recipient of the Human Rights Watch/Hellman-Hammet grant, for her struggle for freedom of expression in Iran. It focuses on a scene of this rampage: an attacker invoking the name of Fatemeh Zahra, the beloved daughter of the Prophet, while pushing a student to his death.
Banu, Our Lady
Banu, Our Lady,
this is my gift to you. Accept it.
This said, he raised his offering
and threw it down the stairs.
On the ground, the sacrificial victim
twisted with pain.
A stream of blood followed his fall.
Silence followed his screams.
A demon had made an offering,
and a person had ceased to exist.
Oh . . . for the child lost so young!
A hundred times Oh . . . for the old mother.
Banu, Our Lady, I dreamt I saw you
in the halo of the moon,
your face pale, your eyes red with sorrow.
In your arms you held two sons,
one perfect like the full moon,
the other radiant like the sun.
You sat beside the corpse,
with the road-dust still on your face,
your soul scalded by sorrow,
your heart tired of arrows.
You complained: O Justice! O Faith!
O, the shamelessness of the brute –
offering me a corpse
and asking me to accept it!
Banu, Our Lady, you shed a deluge of tears
over the man murdered by such ignorance.
You turned your silken coat to a shroud
to cover his body.
O, Banu, our guide! O, Banu, our savior,
O, Banu, unblemished! O, Banu, full of light!
Translated by Kaveh Safa and Farzaneh Milani
Banu is a term of respectful address for women, here applied to one of the most beloved and respected women in Islam: Fatemeh, the Radiant, embodiment of many virtues, including selflessness, purity of heart and compassion. She is the daughter of the Prophet, wife of Ali, mother of the martyred Imams Hossein and Hassan (the children in her arms in the poem), and maternal ancestor of the other Shi’a Imams. [Trs.]