“Other night i saw a dream, where ‘Forough Farrokhzad”, was crying in the deserted streets of Tehran, following her were corpses lips sealed , hand tied , clad in black chador—“
I want to mourn Tehran, a dream that turned into a nightmare. A revolutionary city which stimulated thought and dreams of freedom, equality and the rise of an eastern civilization , now is the seat of a Fascist government , which want to erase even the idea of freedom from people’s mind and i am happy that Farrokhzad is dead, but how can i be happy? No i am not
Farough Farrokhzad was born into en era of hope, when it was possible to dream of an Iran that would be free, where women could be humans , not black skinned sinners. After Tahireh , Farrokhzad took the task of “breaking the silence” on her shoulders
Years later secular humanist Ayan Hirsi Ali will use the term “Islamic gendericide” and cause a big scandal . In post 9/11 world its easy to write “The Caged Virgin” and become the heroine of neo conservative America . In this paradigm the discourse becomes reactionary because the boundaries of freedom and tyranny have been blurred by right wing Hegelians of USA, but in Tehran of Shah it represented a dream , the dream of liberation and equality. The spirit of modernity was singing in the air.
The veiled Chasity and forced modesty was the fate of Iranian woman , when Farrokhzad decided to speak. The question of Love and Desire haunted her and the first step was to acknowledge it. It was the desire that gave her a being, made her a human , “Asir” or the captive is the poem that says it all:
I want you, and I know
That I can never take you in my arms;
You are like that clear, bright sky,
And I am a captive bird in this cage.
The bird in the cage , had started flapping her wing, the voice that never was ,emerged out of the Herms and Slave markets which had now taken the shape homes .
Divorced at 19 , she decided to live as an independant woman in Iran . Love that she desired so much, the love of man, which she cherished was a Sin. How could a thing that was so liberating, so pure , so completing could be a Sin, she pondered on it again and again, she cried to God for guidance , but the conflict never resolved .The only thing which made her feel like a living human being was Sin. It couldnt be , love cannot be sin;a rebel was born. Her masterpiece “Gonah” or Sin deconstructs the concepts of Love and Sin and find harmony in it—-
In that dark and silent seclusion
I looked into his secret-full eyes.
my heart impatiently shook in my breast
In response to the request of his needful eyes.
In that dark and silent seclusion,
I sat disheveled at his side.
his lips poured passion on my lips,
I escaped from the sorrow of my crazed heart.
I whispered in his ear the tale of love:
I want you, o life of mine,
I want you, O life-giving embrace,
O crazed lover of mine, you.
desire sparked a flame in his eyes;
the red wine danced in the cup.
In the soft bed, my body
drunkenly quivered on his chest.
I sinned a sin full of pleasure,
next to a shaking, stupefied form.
o God, who knows what I did
In that dark and quiet seclusion”
The Rebel was on the go , her poem had reached new heights in craft and style , the modern poem with extremely rebellious ideas , In the old Iranian mystic poetic tradition , the poet often describes the idea of “unity with God”. Speaking in God’s language , its the ultimate climax, fulfilling and pacifying .When Farrokhzade became God she was angry and chaotic , the “woman” silenced and suppressed for thousands of years speaks in “The Divine Rebellion” as a God who will be a rebel , who will let the sun loose in darkness, who will throw mountains in sea , will join souls with the bodies in the grave and who will drive the flocks of ascetics from unholy pasture of heavens , but the ultimate revenge from him was:
“weary of divine asceticism,
at midnight in Satan’s bed
I would seek refuge in the downward slopes
of a fresh sin.
I would choose at the price of
the golden crown of godhood,
the dark and painful pleasure
of sin’s embrace”
But God’s revenge was fatal , this beautiful , bold woman who simply desired Love and equality , but who was pushed to rebellion by the tyranny that prevailed died in a car accident but in Iranian literature and libertarian tradition she lives for ever. Farrokhzade had a dream , a dream of a rising red star over Tehran , she never lived to see the star breaking into a curse , a curse that resulted in a bigger cage , A Tehran where another Farrokhzade will not die in a car accident but will be hanged and burned., the dream is still a dream—
“ I’ve had a dream that someone is coming.
I’ve dreamt of a red star,
and my eyes lids keep twitching
and my shoes keep snapping to attention
and may I go blind
if I’m lying.
I’ve dreamt of that red star
when I wasn’t asleep”
I mourn Tehran and i mourn the revolution, and i mourn the freedom———–