Amongst Darkness: Poetry by Forough Farrokhzad, Translated from Farsi

One of Iran’s most influential 20th century poets, Forough Farrokhzad has been called “the last prophet of truth-telling that [Iran] has seen.” This poem, “Mian-e Tariki,” was first published in Iran in 1964, in her fourth poetry collection Another Birth. It has been translated from the original Farsi by Sogol Sur.

Amongst Darkness

Amongst darkness
I called you
there was silence and a breeze
that took the curtain.
In the sad sky
A star was burning
A star was leaving
A star was dying
I called you
I called you
My whole existence
like a bowl of milk
was in my hand.
The moon’s blue glance
was striking the glasses;
a sorrowful song
was rising like smoke
from the city of crickets
like smoke it was trembling
on the windows.
All night long there
Between my breasts
Someone was panting from despair
Someone was uprising
Someone was wanting you
The two hands of their head
were refusing
All night long there
from the black branches
a sorrow was dripping
The air akin to ruins
was shedding on them
My little tree
was in love with the wind
with the wayward wind
Where is the home of wind?
Where is the home of wind?


Photo Credit: Erik Olsson via Creative Commons

About the author

Forough Farrokhzad (1935-1967) is one of the most famous Iranian poets and the most famous Iranian woman poet. Despite her early death, Forough Farrokhzad’s five poetry collections are canonical in Persian literature. Her first three collections The Captive (1955), The Wall (1956), and Rebellion (1958) are important as they made her the pioneer of Iranian poets who wrote about female desire through the female gaze. Whilst her fourth and fifth collections, Another Birth (1964) and Let Us Believe in the Advent of the Cold Season (1974) solidified her position as one of the greatest modernist Persian poets. Hamid Dabashi, the renowned Iranian scholar, describes Forough Farrokhzad as ‘the most celebrated woman poet in the course of the Persian poetic tradition and a seminal modern Persian poet, regardless of gender.’
Forough Farrokhzad is an iconoclast. Due to her turbulent and unconventional lifestyle, she received a great deal of attention from Iranian society both before and after her sudden death in a car accident in 1967.
Amongst Darkness is one of the poems from her fourth poetry collection.

About the author

Sogol Sur is the author of the poetry collection, Sorrows of the Sun (Skyscraper, 2017). She is currently undertaking a doctorate in creative writing at Birkbeck College, University of London, and working on her debut short story collection with the theme of The Iranian Queer. You can follow her on Twitter: @sogolsur and Instagram: sogolsur.

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