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The Windup Doll - VIEW THE POEM

More than this, ah yes,
one can remain silent more than this.

For hours and hours
with the vacant stare of a corpse,
one can gaze at cigarette smoke,
at the shape of a tea cup
at a faded flower in a carpet,
at an imaginary line on the wall.

In many poems from the late 1950s onward, Farrokhzad's poetic personae no longer seem to represent merely her autobiographical self in the expression of feelings and views, but rather all Iranians with similar feelings.  In other words, her feminine personae are transformed in these poems into a spokesperson, female to be sure, but voicing an anti-patriarchal clarion call that knows no gender.  This role of the speaker as spokesperson is explicit and obvious in "The Windup Doll" which vividly outlines the middle class, Iranian woman's potentially lifeless status as wife.  Of course, the poet is neither there saying that all Iranian women are in such a situation nor revealing explicitly how it s that Iranian women should live.  She does not seem here to be accusing men of forcing women into roles as windup dolls. Nevertheless, she presumes to speak for more than herself.

A Lonely Woman  Michael Hillmann page 99
Reprinted from 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.

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