A few weeks ago I went to an amazing lecture on campus by Fatemeh Keshavarz. During her talk about “Why I Wrote Jasmine and Stars: Reading More than Lolita in Tehran” she highlighted the work of several Iranian women poets whose legacy is neglected in Nafisi’s narrative. Though I am still unsure as to where I stand on the issue of Nafisi’s book, I found myself yearning for more Iranian poetry. Forugh Farrokhzad is one of the more famous female poets and her poetry is amazing. I find myself drawn in and forgetting the time as I read her words. Because I was so enamoured with her work I thought that I would share a poem with you so that you can fall in love as well! (poem copied from Farrokhzad website)
One window is sufficient
One window for beholding
One window for hearing
resembling a well’s ring
reaching the earth at the finiteness of its heart
and opening towards the expanse of this repetitive blue kindness
one window filing the small hands of loneliness
with nocturnal benevolence
of the fragrance of wondrous stars
one can summon the sun
to the alienation of geraniums.
One window will suffice me.
I come from the homeland of dolls
from beneath the shades of paper-trees
in the garden of a picture book
from the dry seasons of impotent experiences in friendship and love
in the soil-covered alleys of innocence
from the years of growing pale alphabet letters
behind the desks of the tuberculous school
from the minute that children could write “stone”
on the blackboard
and the frenzied starlings would fly away
from the ancient tree.
I come from the midst of carnivorous plant roots
and my brain is still overflowed
by a butterfly’s terrifying shriek
crucified with pins
onto a notebook.
When my trust was suspended from the fragile thread of justice
and in the whole city
they were chopping up my heart’s lanterns
when they would blindfold me
with the dark handkerchief of Law
and from my anxios temples of desire
fountains of blood would squirt out
when my life had become nothing
but the tic-tac of a clock,
One window will suffice me
one window to the moment of awareness
the walnut sapling
has grown so tall that it can interpret the wall
by its youthful leaves.
Ask the mirror
the redeemer’s name.
Isn’t the shivering earth beneath your feet lonelier than you?
the prophets brought the mission of destruction to our century
aren’t these consecutive explosions
and poisonous clouds
the reverberation of the sacred verses?
when your reach the moon
write the history of flower massacres.
Dreams always plunge down from their naive height
I smell the four-petal clover
which has grown on the tomb of archaic meanings.
Wasn’t the woman
buried in the shroud of anticipation and innocence,
Will I step up the stairs of curiosity
to greet the good God who strolls on the rooftop?
I feel that “time” has passed
I feel that “moment” is my share of history’s pages
I feel that “desk” is a feigned distance
between my tresses
and the hands of this sad stranger.
Talk to me
What else would the one offering the kindness of a live flesh want from
but the understanding of the sensation of existence.
Talk to me
I am in the window’s refuge
I have a relationship with the Sun.