Forough Farrokhzad

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Forugh Farrokhzad
فروغ فرخزاد
Forugh Farrokhzād
Born January 5, 1935
Tehran, Iran
Died February 13, 1967(1967-02-13) (aged 32)
Tehran, Iran
Burial place (buried Zahir o-dowleh cemetery, Darband, Shemiran, Tehran)
Nationality Iranian
Occupation Poet
Spouse(s) Parviz Shapour (divorced)

Forugh Farrokhzad (Persian: فروغ فرخزاد‎‎;[1] January 5, 1935 – February 13, 1967)[2] was an Iranian poet and film director. Forugh Farrokhzad is arguably one of Iran's most influential female poets of the 20th century. She was a controversial modernist poet and an iconoclast.[3]


Forugh (also spelled Forough) was born in Tehran to career military officer Colonel Mohammad Bagher Farrokhzad (originally from Tafresh city) and his wife Touran Vaziri-Tabar in 1935. The third of seven children (Amir, Massoud, Mehrdad, Fereydoun Farrokhzad, Pooran 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.[3] 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 Kamyar Shapour (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. After returning to Iran, in search of a job she 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 1964 she published Another Birth.[4] 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.[5] Her poem Let us believe in the beginning of the cold season was published posthumously, and is considered by some to be one of the best-structured modern poems in Persian.

Farrokhzad's poetry was banned for more than a decade after the Islamic Revolution.[3] 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). Nasser Saffarian has directed three documentaries on her: The Mirror of the Soul (2000), The Green Cold (2003), and Summit of the Wave (2004).

She is the sister of the singer, poet and political activist Fereydoon Farrokhzad.

Forugh's graveside, Zahir o-dowleh cemetery, Darband, Shemiran, Tehran.

Translations of Farrokhzad's works[edit]

  • Arabic: Mohammad Al-Amin, Gassan Hamdan
  • Azeri: Samad Behrangi
  • English:
    Sholeh Wolpé edited the collection titled Sin: Selected poems of Forugh Farrokhzad, (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 Sallee 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 M. Miller
  • German: Annemarie Schimmel
  • Italian: Domenico Ingenito[6]
  • 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
  • Russian: Viktor Poleshchuk[7]
  • 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


Further reading[edit]

  • Manijeh Mannani, The Reader's Experience and Forough Farrokhzad's Poetry, Crossing Boundaries - an interdiciplinary journal, Vol. 1, pp. 49–65 (2001).[8]
  • 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.[9]
  • Sholeh Wolpe, Sin: Selected poems of Forugh Farrokhzad, (Fayetteville [Arkansas]: University of Arkansas Press, 2007). ISBN 1-55728-861-5
  • Ezzat Goushegir, The Bride of Acacias, (a play about Forough Farrokhzad).[10]
  • Chopra, R M, "Eminent Poetesses of Persian", Iran Society, Kolkata, 2010.

Documentaries and other works[edit]

  • I Shall Salute the Sun Once Again, English-language documentary about Forough Farrokhzad, by Mansooreh Saboori, Irandukht Productions 1998.[11]
  • Moon Sun Flower Game, German Documentary about Forough Farrokhzad’s adopted son Hossein Mansouri, by Claus Strigel, Denkmal-Film 2007.[12]
  • The Bride of Acacias, a play about Forough Farrokhzad by Ezzat Goushegir[10]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]