The voice that comes through this book is daring rather than desperate, decisive rather than doleful, and fairly composed, given the constraints that govern the lives of the featured poets, as women and as artists.
This is the first book in any language about the writing of women in Iran. For centuries any sense that there could be a literary tradition among women was suppressed. Since the middle of the 19th century, however, a number a of pioneering women have defied the traditional order to produce poetry and novels of the highest quality; but many of them have paid for their courage with accusations of immorality, promiscuity, heresy and even lunacy.
Forugh Farrokhzad was a pioneering Iranian poet and filmmaker, whose reputation as a path-breaking female rebel made her an iconic figure from her own time. Both her unconventional personal life and her captivating creative trajectory have captured the imaginations of generations of Iranians since she published her first poems in the mid-1950s. More than four decades after her death at the age of 32, Farrokhzad has come to represent the spirit of revolt against patriarchal and cultural norms in 1960s Iran. Her life and work continue to be pivotal not only to understanding Persian literary modernity and the rise of women’s writing in Iran, but also to mapping the struggle of Iranian women f...
For the first time, the work of Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzad is being brought to English-speaking readers through the perspective of a translator who is a poet in her own right, fluent in both Persian and English and intimately familiar with each culture. Sin includes the entirety of Farrokhzad's last book, numerous selections from her fourth and most enduring book, Reborn, and selections from her earlier work and creates a collection that is true to the meaning, the intention, and the music of the original poems. Farrokhzad 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. 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. Sin is a tribute to the work and life of this remarkable poet.
he current political climate of confrontation between Islamist regimes and Western governments has resulted in the proliferation of essentialist perceptions of Iran and Iranians in the West. Such perceptions do not reflect the complex evolution of Iranian identity that occurred in the years following the Constitutional Revolution (1906–11) and the anti-imperialist Islamic Revolution of 1979. Despite the Iranian government’s determined pursuance of anti-Western policies and strict conformity to religious principles, the film and literature of Iran reflect the clash between a nostalgic pride in Persian tradition and an apparent infatuation with a more Eurocentric modernity. In Familiar and...
This book discusses what it means to “perform the State,” what this action means in relation to the country of Iran and how these various performances are represented. The concept of the “State” as a modern phenomenon has had a powerful impact on the formation of the individual and collective, as well as on determining how political entities are perceived in their interactions with one another in the current global arena.
Zahra Karimipours poetry paints a nostalgic picture of life in 1950s Boroujerd, a small town in the west of Iran. The realities of life in Boroujerd reveal a picture of a preindustrialized society, where life had not been touched by advanced machinery; life was simple, but vibrant. Karimipours memories of other places in Iran such as Tehran and the Caspian Sea are emotional accounts of her reflections on endearing memories. Her poem Oh, Caspian, shows her longing for the times she visited the Caspian Sea; her poem Ah, Tehran, reveals her regret of losing a city to population explosion and urbanization.
During the 1979 revolution, Iranians from all walks of life, whether Muslim, Jewish, Christian, socialist, or atheist, fought side-by-side to end one tyrannical regime, only to find themselves in the clutches of another. When Khomeini came to power, freedom of the press was eliminated, religious tolerance disappeared, women’s rights narrowed to fit within a conservative interpretation of the Quran, and non-Islamic music and literature were banned. Poets, writers, and artists were driven deep underground and, in many cases, out of the country altogether. This moving anthology is a testament to both the centuries-old tradition of Persian poetry and the enduring will of the Iranian people to resist injustice. The poems selected for this collection represent the young, the old, and the ancient. They are written by poets who call or have called Iran home, many of whom have become part of a diverse and thriving diaspora.