Forugh Farrokhzad was born in 1935 in Tehran. She was the most significant female Iranian poet of the twentieth century, as revolutionary as Russia’s Akhmatova and Tsvetaeva and America’s Plath and Sexton. She wrote with a sensuality and burgeoning political consciousness that pressed against the boundaries of what could be expressed by a woman in 1950s and 1960s Iran. Her poetry was the poetry of protest—protest through revelation— revelation of the innermost world of women (a taboo subject until then), their intimate secrets and desires, their sorrows, longings, aspirations and at times even their articulation through silence. She paid a high price for her art, shouldering the disapproval of society and her family, having her only child taken away, and spending time in mental institutions. Farrokhzad died in a car accident in 1967 at the age of thirty-two.
Translated from Persian by Sholeh Wolpé
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