Forough Farrokhzad

(5 January 1935 - 14 February 1967 / Tehran)

The Wind-Up Doll - Poem by Forough Farrokhzad

More than this, yes
more than this one can stay silent.

With a fixed gaze
like that of the dead
one can stare for long hours
at the smoke rising from a cigarette
at the shape of a cup
at a faded flower on the rug
at a fading slogan on the wall.

One can draw back the drapes
with wrinkled fingers and watch
rain falling heavy in the alley
a child standing in a doorway
holding colorful kites
a rickety cart leaving the deserted square
in a noisy rush

One can stand motionless
by the drapes—blind, deaf.

One can cry out
with a voice quite false, quite remote
“I love…”
in a man’s domineering arms
one can be a healthy, beautiful female

With a body like a leather tablecloth
with two large and hard breasts,
in bed with a drunk, a madman, a tramp
one can stain the innocence of love.

One can degrade with guile
all the deep mysteries
one can keep on figuring out crossword puzzles
happily discover the inane answers
inane answers, yes—of five or six letters.

With bent head, one can
kneel a lifetime before the cold gilded grill of a tomb
one can find God in a nameless grave
one can trade one’s faith for a worthless coin
one can mold in the corner of a mosque
like an ancient reciter of pilgrim’s prayers.
one can be constant, like zero
whether adding, subtracting, or multiplying.
one can think of your --even your—eyes
in their cocoo of anger
as lusterless holes in a time-worn shoe.
one can dry up in one’s basin, like water.

With shame one can hide the beauty of a moment’s togetherness
at the bottom of a chest
like an old, funny looking snapshot,
in a day’s empty frame one can display
the picture of an execution, a crucifixion, or a martyrdom,
One can cover the crake in the wall with a mask
one can cope with images more hollow than these.

One can be like a wind-up doll
and look at the world with eyes of glass,
one can lie for years in lace and tinsel
a body stuffed with straw
inside a felt-lined box,
at every lustful touch
for no reason at all
one can give out a cry
“Ah, so happy am I!”’


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, December 29, 2011



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