The Captive (Asir) | The Wall (Divar) | Rebellion (Esyan) |
Another Birth (Tavalodi Digar) | Let Us Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Season ( Iman Biyavarim beh Aghaz-a Fasl-e Sard )


a n o t h e r B I R T H ( t a v a l o d i D I G A R )

In the spring of 1964, Farrokhzad's fourth collection of verse appeared. Called Another Birth, it contained thirty-five poems which the poet had composed over a period of nearly six years. Many of them had first appeared in Andisheh va Honar, Arash, and Ketab(Kayhan)-e Hafteh, In other words, in the most substantial modernist journals of the day. Another Birth exploded on the literary scene, modernist critics immediately hailing it as a milestone in the short history of modernist Persian poetry, rivalling the publication of Shamlu's Fresh Air (1967) and Akhavan-e Sales winter (1956) and The Ending of the Shahnameh (1956). The most favorable reactions included a perhaps begrudging admission that readers could no longer think of Farrokhzad as a remarkable poetess, but rather Another Birth showed her to be a remarkable poet. They likewise agreed that she could not have chosen a more suitable name for the collection. For Farrokhzad herself, the contents of the volume represented 'a new birth' as a poet. She felt that the volume revealed first signs of poetic maturity. For the critics, the new birth lay in the redirection of poetic focus which Another Birth embodies, that is, a broadening of poetic concerns, vision, imagery, and diction. Such dimensions of this growth are evident in such poems as "To Ali His Mother Said One Day," "Earthly Verses," and "O Jewel-studded Land."
An interview Farrokhzad gave on modernist Persian poetry about a year and a half before her death highlights in a most telling way further subtle dimensions of this never-ending struggle that poet faced throughout her adult life. During the interview she makes important observations. She expresses regret at having published the Captive, Wall, and Rebellion volumes and asserts that only with the Another Birth poems does she begin to believe in poetry and feel that what she is composing are truly poems. At one points, she argues that expect for some of Hafez's ghazals most of what passed for poetry in Persian for a thousand years before Nima was really only verse. In addition, she expresses her disbelief in the immortality of the human soul and life after death.


My Beloved ( Ma'shuq-e Man )

Like nature
has an unavoidable, frank meaning.
In conquering me, he
the candid law of power.
he is savagely free
like a healthy instinct
deep in an uninhabited island.
he cleans the dust of the street
from his shoes
with pieces torn from Majnun's tentÉ
like a joyous folk song,
he is rough and passionate.
my lover
is a simple person,
Éwhom I
in this ominous strange land
have hidden like the last trace
of a great religion
in the thicket of my breasts.


The Couple ( Joft )

Night comes
and after night, darkness
and after darkness
and breathing and more breathing
and the sound of water
which drips drips drips
from the faucet.

then two red points
from two lighted cigarettes
the clock's tick-tock
and two heads
and two lonelinesses.


It Is Only Sound That Remains ( Tanha sedas'st Keh Mimanad )
Why should I stop, why?
the birds have gone in search
of the blue direction.
the horizon is vertical, vertical
and movement fountain-like;
and at the limits of vision
shining planets spin.
the earth in elevation reaches repetition,
and air wells
changes into tunnels of connection;
and day is a vastness,
which does not fit into narrow mind 
of newspaper worms.

why should I stop?
the road passes through the capillaries of life,
the quality of the environment
in the ship of the uterus of the moon
will kill the corrupt cells.
and in the chemical space after sunrise
there is only sound,
sound that will attract the particles of time.
why should I stop?

what can a swamp be?
what can a swamp be but the spawning ground
of corrupt insects?
swollen corpses scrawl the morgue's thoughts,
the unmanly one has hidden
his lack of manliness in blackness,
and the bugÉah,
when the bug talks,
why should I stop?
cooperation of lead letters is futile,
it will not save the lowly thought.
I am a descendant of the house of trees.
breathing stale air depresses me.
a bird which died advised me to 
commit flight to memory.
the ultimate extent of powers is union, 
joining with the bright principle of the sun
and pouring into the understanding of light.
it is natural for windmills to fall apart.

why should I stop?
I clasp to my breast
the unripe bunches of wheat
and breastfeed them

sound, sound, only sound,
the sound of the limpid wishes
of water to flow,
the sound of the falling of star light
on the wall of earth's femininity
the sound of the binding of meaning's sperm
and the expansion of the shared mind of love.
sound, sound, sound, 
only sound remains.

in the land of dwarfs,
the criteria of comparison
have always traveled in the orbit of zero.
why should I stop?
I obey the four elements;
and the job of drawing up
the constitution of my heart
is not the business 
of the local government of the blind.

what is the lengthy whimpering wildness
in animals sexual organs to me?
what to me is the worm's humble movement
In its fleshy vacuum?
the bleeding ancestry of flowers
has committed me to life.
are you familiar with the bleeding
ancestry of the flowers? 


Awareness ( Daryaft )

The first day of my adolescence
when my whole body
began to open in innocent amazement
to mingle with that vagueness,
that muteness, that
uncertainty. . .


O Jewel-studded Land ( Ay Marz-e Porgohar )

I've won,
I registered myself,
adorned myself with a name, an identity card,
and my existence has become defined with a number.
therefore, long live 678, resident of Tehran,
long live 678, issued at precinct 5.
my worries are over now
In the homeland's loving bosom,
my pacifier: glorious historical traditions,
my lullaby: civilization and culture,
my toy rattle: the rattle box of law.
my worries are over now.


Friday ( Jomeh )

like old alleys, sad
with its sick, lazy daydreams
with its surreptitious, long yawns.
no expectations

the house
with doors shut against the onslaught of youth
with darkness and visions of the sun
with loneliness and guesses
about the future and doubts
with its curtains, books,
cupboards, and pictures.

O how peacefully and pridefully passed by
my life like a strange stream
In the heart of those quiet, desolate Friday
In the heart of those empty, oppressive houses, 
O how peacefully and pridefully it passed.


The Captive (Asir) | The Wall (Divar) | Rebellion (Esyan) |
Another Birth (Tavalodi Digar) | Let Us Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Season ( Iman Biyavarim beh Aghaz-a Fasl-e Sard )

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