I love the book A Thousand Splendid Suns. My sister and I were talking about this book the other day. It is fabulous. I think I will always remember the section where she has to take her daughter to the orphanage. I cried and cried. Having three girls, I could not imagine the devastation of being forced by your husband to give up a child.
According to Wikipedia (and we all know how reliable it is!) the title of the book refers to a phrase from the poem “Kabul”, by the 17th-century Persian poet Saib-e-Tabrizi. The poem is translated into English by Josphine Davis. The English translation is not a literal translation of the original.
Ah! How beautiful is Kabul encircled by her arid mountains
And Rose, of the trails of thorns she envies
Her gusts of powdered soil, slightly sting my eyes
But I love her, for knowing and loving are born of this same dust
My song exhalts her dazzling tulips
And at the beauty of her trees, I blush
How sparkling the water flows from Pul-I Bastaan!
May Allah protect such beauty from the evil eye of man!
Khizr chose the path to Kabul in order to reach Paradise
For her mountains brought him close to the delights of heaven
From the fort with sprawling walls, A Dragon of protection
Each stone is there more precious than the treasure of Shayagan
Every street of Kabul is enthralling to the eye
Through the bazaars, caravans of Egypt pass
One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs
And the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls
Her laughter of mornings has the gaiety of flowers
Her nights of darkness, the reflections of lustrous hair
Her melodious nightingales, with passion sing their songs
Ardent tunes, as leaves enflamed, cascading from their throats
And I, I sing in the gardens of Jahanara, of Sharbara
And even the trumpets of heaven envy their green pastures