In my writing class in Iran, we never read Forough Farrokhzad’s poetry. The teacher was a leftist who was obsessed with Shamlu and kept talking about the responsibilities of literature. Everything had some leftist tone to it, even love. I often wondered weather these Shamlu loving leftists are so responsible and caring that they are willing to sleep with the whole nation. The symbol of love was so revolutionary, so collective that one could only imagine them in an orgy with the nation.
In my literature class at University of Toronto, Naser Danesh kept teaching us Forough. I kept bugging him with the little crap I learned from my Shamlu-loving teacher. Danesh and I often got into arguments over Forough’s poetry. He loved her; I could not admit my love.
Today I was talking to a friend and he told me he does not like Forough as he feels sorry for her husband and son. He knew the late Parviz Shapour personally. In a visit, my friend was very moved by Shapour’s poor living conditions, his depression, and poverty. My Friend respects Forough as an independent thinker, yet cannot forgive her for leaving her husband and child. In Robarts Liberary University of Toronto, a pseudo intellectual once said: “I love her poetry, but she had too many boyfriends.” Another friend once told me: “you read too much of that poetry, you’ll end up a Jendeh.”
The fact of the matter is, we all love her, yet there is always a “but”…. But she left…but she slept…but she loved…but she said…. We hate her for living her life by the seconds, for writing her mind, for getting naked, for making love, for expressing her sexuality, and for being women without fear. She makes us uncomfortable as social being, and comforts us at night when we read her as individuals. So read the following verses and sweat as much as you want….
I sinned a luscious sin,
in an embrace which was warm and fiery.
I sinned surrounded by arms
that were hot and avenging and iron.
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 dishevelled 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 bodydrunkenly quivered on his chest.
I sinned a luscious sin,
next to a shaking, stupefied form.
O God, who knows what I did
In that dark and quiet seclusion.