Forough Farrokhzad

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Forugh Farrokhzad
فروغ فرخزاد
Forugh Farrokhzād
Forugh Farrokhzād
BornDecember 29, 1934[1]
Tehran, Iran
DiedFebruary 13, 1967(1967-02-13) (aged 32)
Tehran, Iran
Resting place(buried Zahir o-dowleh cemetery, Darband, Shemiran, Tehran)
OccupationPoet, Filmmaker
NationalityIranian
SpouseParviz Shapour (divorced)

Forough (Forugh) Farrokhzad (Persian: فروغ فرخزاد‎;[2] December 29, 1934 – February 13, 1967) was an influential Iranian poet and film director.[3] She was a controversial modernist poet and an iconoclast,[4] writing from a female point of view.[5][6]

Biography[edit]

Forough (also spelled Forugh) was born in Tehran in 1935, to career military officer Colonel Mohammad Bagher Farrokhzad (originally from Tafresh city) and his wife Touran Vaziri-Tabar. The third of seven children (Amir, Massoud, Mehrdad, Fereydoun, Pooran, Gloria), she attended school until the ninth grade, then was taught painting and sewing at a girls' school for the manual arts. At the age of 16 she was married to satirist Parviz Shapour. She continued her education with painting and sewing classes, and moved with her husband to Ahvaz. Her only child, a son named Kamyar Shapour (subject of The Return), was born a year later. "After her separation, and later her divorce (1954), from Parviz, she loses custody of her son because she has had several affairs. Her son Kamyar, whom she affectionately calls Kami, is taken away from her and brought up by Parviz and his family. Forugh is given few visiting rights, and the child is brought up with the impression that his mother has abandoned him for poetry and the pursuit of her sexual pleasures. The thought of her son thinking that she willingly abandoned him, is a source of great sorrow and constant torment."[7]

Farrokhzad's strong feminine voice became the focus of much negative attention and open disapproval. She spent nine months in Europe during 1958. After returning to Iran, in search of a job she met filmmaker and writer Ebrahim Golestan, who reinforced her own inclinations to express herself and live independently, and with whom she began a love affair. [8] 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, is considered to be an essential part of the Iranian New Wave.[9] During the 12 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.

She published Reborn in 1964. Her poetry at that time varied significantly from previous Iranian poetic conventions.

Farrokhzad died in a car accident on February 13, 1967, at the age of 32.[6] Although the "accident" has been the subject of much debate, the official story is that she swerved her jeep to avoid an oncoming school bus and was thrown out of her car, hitting her head against the curb. It was believed she died before reaching the hospital, however, Farzaneh Milani in her new book, Forugh Farrokhzad: A Literary Biography With Unpublished Letters / فروغ فرخزاد: زندگی نامه ادبی همراه با نامه های چاپ نشده (Farsi), cites an interview with Ebrahim Golestan who speaks about Farrokhzad's final moments where she died in his arm. [10] Farrokhzad's poem Let Us Believe in the Dawn of the Cold Season was published posthumously, and is considered by some to be one of the best-structured modern poems in Persian.[11]

Farrokhzad's poetry was banned for more than a decade after the Islamic Revolution.[4] A brief literary biography of Forough, Michael Hillmann's A lonely woman: Forough Farrokhzad and her poetry, was published in 1987.[5] Farzaneh Milani's work Veils and words: the emerging voices of Iranian women writers (1992) included a chapter about her. Nasser Saffarian has directed three documentaries about her life: The Mirror of the Soul (2000), The Green Cold (2003), and Summit of the Wave (2004), and Sholeh Wolpé has written a short biography of Farrokhzad's life in "Sin--Selected Poems of Forugh Farrokhzad" (2007).

In February 2017, on the occasion of 50 years since Farrokhzad's death, the 94-year-old Golestan broke his silence about his relationship with her, speaking to Saeed Kamali Dehghan of The Guardian.[12] “I rue all the years she isn’t here, of course, that’s obvious,” he said. “We were very close, but I can’t measure how much I had feelings for her. How can I? In kilos? In metres?”

Sholeh Wolpé writes, "Farrokhzad is Iran's most revered female poet. She was a poet of great audacity and extraordinary talent. Her poetry was the poetry of protest-- protest through revelation-- revelation of the innermost world of women (considered taboo until then), their intimate secrets and desires, their sorrows, longings, aspirations and at times even their articulation through silence. Her poems are still relevant in their advocacy for women’s liberation and independence."[13]

Feminine Perspective[edit]

In a radio interview, when asked about the Feminine Perspective in her poems, Farrokhzad replied: " If my poems, as you say, have an aspect of femininity, it is of course quite natural. After all, fortunately I am a woman. But if you speak of artistic merits, I think gender cannot play a role. In fact to even voice such a suggestion is unethical. It is natural that a woman, because of her physical, emotional, and spiritual inclinations, may give certain issues greater attention, issues that men may not normally address. I believe that if those who choose art to express their inner self, feel they have to do so with their gender in mind, they would never progress in their art -- and that is not right. So when I write, if I keep thinking, oh I'm a woman and I must address feminine issues rather than human issue, then that is a kind of stopping and self-destruction. Because what matters, is to cultivate and nourish one's own positive characteristics until one reaches a level worth of being a human. What is important is the work produced by a human being and not one labeled as a man or a woman. When a poem reaches a certain level of maturation, it separates itself from sits creator and connects to a world where it is valid based on sits own merits."[14] [15]

Translations of Farrokhzad's works[edit]

  • Arabic: Mohammad Al-Amin, Gassan Hamdan
  • Azeri: Samad Behrangi
  • English:
    • Sin: Selected poems of Forugh Farrokhzad, translated and edited by Sholeh Wolpé, (Fayetteville [Arkansas]: University of Arkansas Press, 2007) ISBN 1-55728-861-5.
    • Ali Salami translated Another Birth: Selected Poems in 2001 (Zabankadeh, Tehran) ISBN 978-9646117365.
      Hasan Javadi and Susan Sallée translated Another Birth: Selected Poems of Forugh Farrokhzad with her letters and interviews in 1981. A revised edition of the same volume is published by Mage Publishers (Washington, DC) in 2010 as a bilingual edition.
    • Jascha Kessler with Amin Banani, Bride of Acacias: Selected Poems of Forugh Farrokhzad (Caravan Books, Delmar, N.Y., 1982) ISBN 0-88206-050-3.
    • Farzaneh Milani, Veils and words: the emerging voices of Iranian women writers (Syracuse University Press, Syracuse, N.Y., 1992) ISBN 978-1-85043-574-7.
    • 'A Rebirth: Poems, translated by David Martin, with a critical essay by Farzaneh Milani (Mazda Publishers, Lexington Ky., 1985) ISBN 093921430X.
  • French: Mahshid Moshiri, Sylvie Mochiri (pen name : Sylvie M. Miller)
  • German: Annemarie Schimmel
  • Italian: Domenico Ingenito[16]
  • Kurdish: Haidar Khezri, It is Only Sound that Remains: The Life and Legacy of Forough Farrokhzad, with Translation of Two Collections of her Poetry ("Another Birth" and "Let Us Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Season"), published by Salahaddin University Press 2016.
  • Nepali: Collected in Manpareka Kehi Kavita translated by Suman Pokhrel[17][18][19][20]
  • Russian: Viktor Poleshchuk[21]
  • Turkish: Hashem Khosrow-Shahi, Jalal Khosrow-Shahi
  • Urdu: Fehmida Riaz published by 'Sheherzade Publications' Karachi
  • Uzbek: Khurshid Davron published by 'Qirq bir oshiq daftari' Tashkent

Bibliography[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Sholeh Wolpé, Sin: Selected poems of Forugh Farrokhzad, (Fayetteville [Arkansas]: University of Arkansas Press, 2007). ISBN 1-55728-861-5
  • Manijeh Mannani, The Reader's Experience and Forough Farrokhzad's Poetry, Crossing Boundaries - an interdiciplinary journal, Vol. 1, pp. 49–65 (2001).[22]
  • Michael Craig Hillmann, An Autobiographical Voice: Forough Farrokhzad, in Women's Autobiographies in Contemporary Iran, edited by Afsaneh Najmabadi (Cambridge [Massachusetts]: Harvard University Press, 1990). ISBN 0-932885-05-5.
  • Ezzat Goushegir, The Bride of Acacias, (a play about Forough Farrokhzad).[23]
  • Chopra, R M, "Eminent Poetesses of Persian", Iran Society, Kolkata, 2010.
  • Dastgheib, Abdolali. 2006. The Little Mermaid, Critical Review of poems by Forough Farrokhzad. Amitis Publishers, Tehran, Iran. ISBN 964-8787-09-3. (Farsi title پری کوچک دریا).

Documentaries and other works[edit]

  • I Shall Salute the Sun Once Again, English-language documentary about Forough Farrokhzad, by Mansooreh Saboori, Irandukht Productions 1998.
  • Moon Sun Flower Game, German Documentary about Forough Farrokhzad's adopted son Hossein Mansouri, by Claus Strigel, Denkmal-Film 2007.
  • The Bride of Acacias, a play about Forough Farrokhzad by Ezzat Goushegir[23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Farzaneh Milani (March 11, 2016). Forough Farrokhzhad's Biography & Unpublished Letters (Video). Library of Congress. Event occurs at 12:31-13:00. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  2. ^ Persian pronunciation: [fʊˌɾuːɣe fæɾɾoxˈzɒːd]
  3. ^ Hamid Dabashi (20 November 2012). The World of Persian Literary Humanism. Harvard University Press. pp. 290–. ISBN 978-0-674-07061-5.
  4. ^ a b *Daniel, Elton L.; Mahdi, Ali Akbar (2006). Culture and Customs of Iran. Greenwood Press. pp. 81–82. ISBN 978-0-313-32053-8.
  5. ^ a b Janet Afary (9 April 2009). Sexual Politics in Modern Iran. Cambridge University Press. pp. 283–. ISBN 978-1-107-39435-3.
  6. ^ a b Parvin Paidar (24 July 1997). Women and the Political Process in Twentieth-Century Iran. Cambridge University Press. pp. 168–. ISBN 978-0-521-59572-8.
  7. ^ from "Sin: Selected Poems of Forugh Farrokhzad" by Sholeh Wolpe, University of Arkansas Press, 2007
  8. ^ Dehghan, Saeed Kamali (2017-02-12). "Former lover of the poet known as Iran's Sylvia Plath breaks his silence". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  9. ^ "Forugh Farrokhzad". IMDb. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  10. ^ زندگی نامه ادبی فروغ فرخزاد همراه با نامه‌های چاپ نشده
  11. ^ Levi Thompson, "Speaking Laterally: Transnational Poetics and the Rise of Modern Arabic and Persian Poetry in Iraq and Iran", UCLA, May 2017, p. 156
  12. ^ Ebrahim Golestan's interview with the Guardian's Saeed Kamali Dehghan
  13. ^ Introduction by Sholeh Wolpe in Words Without Borders: https://www.wordswithoutborders.org/contributor/forugh-farrokhzad
  14. ^ Sin. University of Arkansas Press. 2007-10-01. ISBN 9781610753838.
  15. ^ Wolpé, Sholeh, "FORUGH FARROKHZAD (1935–1967)", Sin, University of Arkansas Press, pp. xvi–xxxii, ISBN 9781610753838, retrieved 2018-10-08
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-10-17. Retrieved 2008-08-11.
  17. ^ Akhmatova, Anna; Świrszczyńska, Anna; Ginsberg, Allen; Agustini, Delmira; Farrokhzad, Forough; Mistral, Gabriela; Jacques, Jacques; Mahmoud, Mahmoud; Al-Malaika, Nazik; Hikmet, Nazim; Qabbani, Nizar; Paz, Octavio; Neruda, Pablo; Plath, Sylvia; Amichai, Yehuda (2018). Manpareka Kehi Kavita मनपरेका केही कविता [Some Poems of My Choice] (Print)|format= requires |url= (help) (in Nepalese). Translated by Pokhrel, Suman (First ed.). Kathmandu: Shikha Books. p. 174.
  18. ^ https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/4724485-nepali-translation-of-anna-swir-s-poem-myself-and-my-person
  19. ^ https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/4724900-nepali-translation-of-anna-swir-s-poem-i-kn
  20. ^ Tripathi, Geeta (2018). "अनुवादमा 'मनपरेका केही कविता'" [Manpareka Kehi Kavita in Translation]. Kalashree. pp. 358–359. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  21. ^ Полещук, Виктор (2002). Форуг Фаррохзад, Стихи из книги "Новое рождение". Inostrannaya Literatura (in Russian). Moscow (8).
  22. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-07-10. Retrieved 2007-10-14.
  23. ^ a b "thebrideofacacias".

External links[edit]