A few years ago, the Emamzadeh in Mashad Ardehal near Kashan, where Sohrab Sepehri is buried was going through a renovation. As a part of the renovation, the plan was to move Sohrab’s grave from where it was to another spot in the graveyard. In Iran and amongst Moslems, exhuming a dead body from the grave is considered a deep insult to the dead. There was a huge social uproar and the plans were changed to exclude the removal. The reconstruction and renovation efforts went on at the Emamzadeh. One day a truck backed onto Sohrab’s grave, and broke the tombstone. This was so ironic, considering on his tombstone, verses of one of his poems say:
I saw this picture today. A crack through the words "the thin china of my solitude" is visible. I wonder whether that tombstone was replaced and the new one is now also cracked, or this is the original tombstone. Either way, I think Sohrab would not be insulted by the irony. I think he is smiling about it, the optimistic, happy poet of our times. Photo by Behrang Barzin. See more pictures of his trip to Iran here.
If you come to visit me, Come softly and quietly, Lest the thin china of my solitude Is cracked.