Biography of Forough Farrokhzad
Forugh Farrokhzād was an Iranian poet and film director. Forugh Farrokhzad is arguably one of Iran's most influential female poets of the twentieth century. She was a controversial modernist poet and an iconoclast.
Forugh (also spelled Forough) was born in Tehran to career military officer Colonel Mohammad Bagher Farrokhzad and his wife Touran Vaziri-Tabar in 1935. The third of seven children (Amir, Massoud, Mehrdad, Fereydoun Farrokhzad, Pouran Farrokhzad, Gloria), she attended school until the ninth grade, then was taught painting and sewing at a girl's school for the manual arts. At age sixteen she was married to Parviz Shapour, an acclaimed satirist. Farrokhzad continued her education with classes in painting and sewing and moved with her husband to Ahvaz. A year later, she bore her only child, a son named Kāmyār (subject of A Poem for You).
Within two years, in 1954, Farrokhzad and her husband divorced; Parviz won custody of the child. She moved back to Tehran to write poetry and published her first volume, entitled The Captive, in 1955.
Farrokhzad, a female divorcée writing controversial poetry with a strong feminine voice, became the focus of much negative attention and open disapproval. In 1958 she spent nine months in Europe and met film-maker and writer Ebrahim Golestan, who reinforced her own inclinations to express herself and live independently. She published two more volumes, The Wall and The Rebellion before traveling to Tabriz to make a film about Iranians affected by leprosy. This 1962 documentary film titled The House is Black won several international awards. During the twelve days of shooting, she became attached to Hossein Mansouri, the child of two lepers. She adopted the boy and brought him to live at her mother's house.
In 1963 she published Another Birth. Her poetry was now mature and sophisticated, and a profound change from previous modern Iranian poetic conventions.
At 4:30PM on February 13, 1967, Farrokhzad died in a car accident at age thirty-two. In order to avoid hitting a school bus, she swerved her Jeep, which hit a stone wall; she died before reaching the hospital. Her poem Let us believe in the beginning of the cold season was published posthumously, and is considered by some to be the best-structured modern poem in Persian.
Farrokhzad's poetry was banned for more than a decade after the Islamic Revolution. A brief literary biography of Forough, Michael Hillmann's A lonely woman: Forough Farrokhzad and her poetry, was published in 1987. Also about her is a chapter in Farzaneh Milani's work Veils and words: the emerging voices of Iranian women writers (1992).
She is the sister of the singer, poet and political activist Fereydoon Farrokhzad (1936 — 1992; assassinated? murdered? in Bonn, Germany). Translations into English include those by Sholeh Wolpe, The Sad Little Fairy Maryam Dilmaghani, Sin: Selected poems of Forough Farrokhzad. Nasser Saffarian has directed three documentaries on her; The Mirror of the Soul (2000), The Green Cold (2003), and Summit of the Wave (2004).
Forough Farrokhzad's Works:
The Sad Little Fairy Maryam Dilmaghani
Sin: Selected poems of Forough Farrokhzad
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Forough Farrokhzad Poems
The Sin [gonah]
I sinned a sin full of pleasure, In an embrace which was warm and fiery. I sinned surrounded by arms that were hot and avenging and iron.
To me you are a wave; never here, never there! You are –still- nowhere!
Call To Arms
Only you, O Iranian woman, have remained In bonds of wretchedness, misfortune, and cruelty; If you want these bonds broken, grasp the skirt of obstinacy
I speak out of the deep of night out of the deep of darkness and out of the deep of night I speak.
A dark and chanted verse is what I am Forever bearing you In myself imbued with you Forth to the morning of eternal burgeonings and blooms
The Bird May Die...
I feel sad, I feel blue. I go outside and rub my cold fingers- on the sleek shell of the silent night.
It Is Only Sound That Remains
Why should I stop, why? the birds have gone in search of the blue direction. the horizon is vertical, vertical
Only The Sound Will Last
Why shall I mind, why? Birds fled to the aquatic side, The sphere is vertical, The sphere is vertical-
Ay, age seven Ay, the magnanimous moment of departure Whatever happened after you, happened in a mesh of insanity and ignorance.
Conquest Of The Garden
The crow that flew over us and sank- in the confusion of a vagabond cloud; The crow that swiftly crossed- the extent of the sphere-
The Bird Was Just A Bird
The birds said: “What a bright day, what a fresh air! Spring has arrived. I must look for my mate.”
The Captive [ Asir ]
I want you, yet I know that never can I embrace you to my heart's content. you are that clear and bright sky. I, in this corner of the cage, am a captive bird.
The Wind-Up Doll
More than this, yes more than this one can stay silent.
I Will Greet The Sun Again
I am sending- my warmest greetings to the sun, and to the tender rivers that streamed in my veins, and to the raining clouds that forever carried- my endless
Conquest Of The Garden
The crow that flew over us and sank-
in the confusion of a vagabond cloud;
The crow that swiftly crossed-
the extent of the sphere-
like a short arrow-
will tell about us-
in the town.