Our Masters

Forough Farrokhzad



To say that Iran’s most significant female poet, Forough Farrokhzad visited the earth between 1935 to1967 for a turbulent life, seems inadequate. A brilliant modernist and an iconoclast who influenced many of her contemporaries and poets of later generations, Forough has left today’s generation of Iranian poets with a strong feminine voice and an authentic poetic flow in her works, particularly in her last two collections, “Another Birth” and “Let Us Believe in the Cold Season”. Forough, best remembered by her first name, was also a bright filmmaker. Her 1962 film “The House is Black” won awards worldwide.






The night comes
and after night, the dark
and after darkness
and breaths and breaths and breaths
and then, the sound of water
that falls drop by drop by drop from the tap
and then two crimson dots
of two lighted cigarettes
the tick-tack of the clock
two hearts
two loneliness.


Only Sound Will Last


Why should I stop, why?
The birds have gone in search of the blue,
The horizon is vertical,
The horizon is vertical and the movement: fountain like.


Within the realm of insight,
bright planets rotate,
The earth recurs in height
and black holes are altered into tunnels of relationship
And the day is an expansion
that finds no room in the contracted wits of the newspaper worm.


Why should I stop?
The route runs through
the veins of life.
The insemination stand of the moon’s womb
will kill all defective cells.


In the chemical ambiance after sunrise, only sound,
it is only sound that will adhere to the particles of time.


Why should I stop, why?


What else could a marshland be?
what else could it be, but a place for the insemination of corrupted insects?


Swollen corpses have shaped
the thoughts of freezing morgues
The unmanly one has hidden
his unmanliness in the dark.


And cockroaches…ah when cockroaches talk!


Why should I stop, why?


The cooperation of leaden words
is useless.
The cooperation of leaden words
will not save pathetic thoughts.


I am a descendant of trees,
breathing stagnant air
makes me dull.


The dead bird
gave me an advice to remember flying.


The end of all forces
is affiliation, connection
with the clear principle of the sun
and to release the consciousness of the light


It is only natural that windmills wear out


Why should I stop, why?
I hold the unripe clusters of wheat beneath my breasts and feed them


Sound, sound, only sound
Sound of the clear call of the water to flow
Sound of spilling star lights
on the feminine walls of earth
Sound of the fusion of meaningful seeds
Sound of the expansion of love’s mutual mind
Sound, sound, sound,
Only sound will last.


In the land of midgets, scales
have always moved on zero degree circuits
Why should I stop, why?


I obey the four elements
and the codification of my heart’s constitution
is unlike the local jurisdiction of the blind.


What have I to do
with the long wild howls in the genitals of animals?


What have I to do
with the pathetic movement of worms
in a vacuum of flesh?


The legacy of martyred flowers has committed me to life,
The legacy of martyred flowers,
don’t you know?




I speak from the depth of the night
I speak from the depth of the dark
and the depth of the night
O kind one, if you ever come my house
do bring me a lamp
and a chasm
through which I may look at the crowded lane of bliss.




A window to look,
A window to listen,
A window that reaches out to the earth
just like the loop of a well at its very end
and opens towards the expanse of this constant blue benevolence
A window that fills the little hands of loneliness
with the nocturnal bounty of generous stars.
And it is from there that one can invite the sun
to the nostalgia of the candelabra flowers.
One window is enough for me.
I come from the land of dolls
From beneath the shade of paper trees
in the garden of an illustrated book
From the arid chapters of barren experiences of friendship and love
in the earthy lanes of innocence,
From the blooming years of anaemic alphabet letters
at the benches of a tubercular school
From the moment that children
could write the word of the “stone” on the board
and the starlings fluttered away from the elderly tree.
I come from within the roots of carnivorous plants,
and my brain is still brimmed over with the fearful calls of a butterfly
that has been crucified in a notebook onto a pin
When my faith hung from the frail cord of justice,
and all through the city they shattered the heart of my lamps
When they blind folded my innocent love
with the dark kerchief of the law
and fountains of blood shot out
of the turbulent temples of my dreams
When my life was nothing anymore
But the tick-tack of the clock,
I realized that I must must must
Love madly.
One window is enough for me.
One window to the moment of insight, sight and silence.
Now the walnut sapling
is mature enough
to define the wall for its young leaves.
Ask the name of your savior from the mirror
Isn’t the earth that trembles under your feet,
Lonelier than you?
The prophets brought with themselves
missions of ruin to our century
Are these incessant blasts and poisonous clouds
the echoes of sacred verses?
O friend, o brother, o same blooded one!
When you get to the moon,
do write the history of the carnage of flowers.
Dreams always fall off their own naïve height and die
I smell a quatrefoil clover
that has blossomed on the grave of old concepts
Is she my youth,
the woman who turned into earth , enshrouded in waiting and chastity?
Will I ever go up the stairs of my own curiosity once again
to salute the good god that strolls on the roof?
I feel that time has passed.
I feel that “instant” is my share of the pages of history
I feel this table is a forged distance between my tresses
and the hands of this sad stranger.
Say something to me,
What does she expect of you but the sensational grasp of life,
the one who gives you the kindness of a lively body?
Talk to me,
Say something
I am sheltered in the window,
I have a relationship with the sun.


Translation: Maryam Ala Amjadi

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