Of The Garden - VIEW
crow which flew over our heads
and descended into the disturbed thought
Of a vagabond cloud
and the sound of which traversed
the breadth of the horizon
like a short spear
will carry the news
of us to the city.
of the Garden," first published in Kayhan-e Hafteh in
the summer of 1962, boldly proclaims the speaker's resolve to live
as she sees fit, at least in the realm of love.
of the Garden" is Farrokhzad's rejection of societal conventions
and her expression of determination to follow the dictates of her
heart. The speaker knows that a relationship of true love has little
to do with signing a marriage certificate, but a lot to do with ignoring
what 'everyone' will think. It means overcoming the fears that most
people have when given the opportunity to be totally open.
The crow is a
proverbial gossip-monger. The news which it will bring to the city
has the potential wounding quality of the short spear to which it
is compared. The crow seems here to represent people determined
to maintain and enforce conventional morality. On the other hand,
the young eagles are creatures above conventional morality and pedestrian
concerns. It is therefore fitting that the speaker and her beloved
ask them how they should live. The eagles live on "that
strange overwhelming mountain," an allusion to the mythological
Mt. Qaf where Iranian phoenix birds raised the father of the legendary
Nature is, in
fact a second focus of imagery in "Conquest of the Garden."
The lovers are in perfect harmony with nature and therefore guiltless.
They have seen the garden of Eden and have plucked its fruit.
They have married, but not in a literal, formal way. Rather
they have joined intimately with traditional Iranian symbols present
at marriage ceremonies; lamp water and mirror, which respectively
symbolize illumination, purity, and good fortune. Their decision about
how to proceed in life is based on answers from knowing, yet innocent
forces in nature; rabbits on land, pearl-bearing oysters in the sea,
and the young eagles in the sky. In short, as one Iranian critic
observes, "Conquest of the Garden" is a rich "celebration
of love" which "reveals, without sacrificing its joyful
spontaneity, a sophisticated selectivity and a structural precision
rare in modern Persian poetry."
A Lonely Woman
Michael Hillmann page 98
Lonely Woman: Forugh Farrokhzad and Her Poetry, by Michael C. Hillmann.
Copyright © 1987 by Michael C. Hillmann. Reprinted with permission of
Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc.