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 )

 

L e t U s B e l i v e I n T h e B e g i n n i n g O f C o l d S e a s o n
( I m a n B i y a v a r i m b e h A g h a z -a F a s l - e S a r d )

In 1974, a final collection of Farrokhzad's verse called Let Us Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Season was published. It included the title poem, "Window", " I feel Sorry for the Garden, " Someone Who Is like No One," "It Is Only Sound that Remains," and "I 'm Depressed." This volume completed the Farrokhzad canon, totaling some 127 poems in five collections, together with a handful of poems published in magazines but not anthologized, and a small, but unknown number of unpublished poems. All of her verse could thus be comfortably published in a single, moderately sized volume, which means that Farrokhzad's remarkable impact is far in excess of the amount of her published poetry. Of course, that is because her life of thirty-two years was as much a part of her impact as her poetry. If her poetry drew directory and distinctively from her life, in turn, was part of the total, dramatic, and inspiring poetic statement that is Forugh Farrokhzad.
Farrokhzad herself must have felt that did not involve grand expectation or ambitions, as she reveals in an early 1965 poem first published in Arash called "Window." The poem's opening of "One Window for seeing / One window for hearing /… one window is enough for me" becomes a refrain. The speaker relates that:

 

Window ( Panjareh )

When my faith was hanging
by the weak thread of justice
and in the whole city
the hearts of my lamps were
being torn to pieces,
when the childlike eyes of my love
were being blindfolded by law's black kerchief,
and fountains of blood were gushing forth
from the distressed temples of my desire,
when my life was no longer anything,
nothing but the tick tock of a wall clock,
I discovered that I must,
that I absolutely had to
love madly.

one window is enough for me,
one window to the moment of consciousness
and looking and silence.
the walnut sapling
Is now tall enough to explain
the meaning of the wall
to its young leaves.
ask the mirror
the name of your savior.
Is not the earth that trembles under your feet
lonelier than you?

Then after evoking images of atomic explosions and the exploration of the moon, the speaker observes that:

dreams always fall from the height
of their naivete', and die.
I am smelling a four-leafed clover
that has grown on top of the grave of ancient concepts.
was not the woman who turned to dust
In the shroud of her waiting and chastity
my youth?
will I again climb the stairs of my curiosity
to greet the good god pacing
on the roof of my house?

I feel that time has passed me by.
I feel that the 'moment' is my share
of the leaves of history.
I feel that the table is an unwanted barrier
between my hair and the hands
of this sad stranger.
say something to me.
does the person giving you
the tenderness of a warm body
possibly want anything else from you
besides the sense of being alive?
say something to me.
In the refuge of my window
I am linked to the sun.

 

I Feel Sorry for the Garden ( Delam barayeh Baghcheh Misuzad )

In "I feel sorry for the Garden," an adult female speaker points to the individual self-centeredness, superficiality, and phoniness common among members of her upper middle class Tehran. The garden that walled-in courtyard of urban Iranian homes or outside the ground floor apartment of multi-story apartment buildings. Of course, given the climate of Iran, such a garden is something that needs special effort to bring into existence and maintain. The poem reads:


No one is thinking about the flowers,
no one is thinking about the fish,
no one wants
to believe that the garden is dying,
that the garden's heart has swollen
under the sun,
that the garden's mind is slowly
being drained of green memories,
that the garden's senses are
a separate thing rotting huddled in a corner.

our old courtyard is lonely.
our garden yawns
in anticipation of an unknown rain cloud,
and our pool is empty.

inexperienced little stars
fall to the earth from treetop heights.
and from the pale windows of the fishes' abode
the sound of coughing comes at night.
our courtyard garden is lonely.

Fathers says:
it's too late for me.
it's over for me.
I shouldered my burden
and did my share. 
and in this room, from dawn to disk,
he reads either the Shahnameh
or The History Of Histories. 
Father says to Mother:
to hell with all birds and fish.
when I die, then
what difference will it make
that there is a garden
or there isn't a garden?
my retirement pension is enough for me.

Mother's whole life
is a prayer rug spread
at the threshold of fears of hell.
at the bottom of everything Mother
always searches for traces of sin
and thinks that a plant's apostasy
has contaminated the garden.
Mother prays all day long.
Mother is a natural sinner
and she breathes on all the flowers
and on all the fish, and
exorcises herself.
Mother is waiting for a coming
and a forgiveness to descend upon the earth.

My brother calls the garden a graveyard.
My brother laughs at the profusion of weeds
and keeps a count
of the fish corpses
that decompose
beneath the water's sick skin.
My brother is addicted to philosophy.
My brother thinks the cure for the garden
lies in its destruction.
he gets drunk 
and bangs on doors and walls
and tries to say
that he is very wart, despondent and despairing.
he carries his despair
along with his identity cars, pocket calendar,
lighter and ballpoint pen

to the street and the bazaar.
and his despair is so small
that every night
It gets lost in the crowd at the bar.

and my sister who was the flowers' friend
and took her heart's simple words
to their kind and silent company
when Mother spanked her
and occasionally offered sun and cookies
to the family of fish…
her house is on the other side of the city.
in her artificial home,
with her artificial goldfish,
and in the security of her artificial husband's love,
and under the branches of her artificial apple tree,
she sings artificial songs
and produces very real babies.
whenever she comes to visit us
and the hem of her skirt gets soiled
with the garden's poverty,
she takes a perfume bath.
Every time she comes to visit us,
she
is pregnant.

Our garden is lonely,
our garden is lonely.
all day long
from behind the door comes the sound
of shattering and explosions.
all our neighbors plant
bombs and machineguns in their gardens
instead of flowers.
all our neighbors
cover their tiled ponds,
which
become unwitting
secret storehouses of gunpowder.
and the children along our street
have filled their schoolbags
with small bombs.
our garden is confused.

I fear an age
that has lost its heart.
I am scared of the thought
of so many useless hands
and of picturing so many estranged faces.
like a school child 
madly in love with her geometry lesson,
I am alone.
and I think that the garden
can be taken to a hospital.
I think...
I think...
I think...
and the garden's heart has swollen
under the sun,
and the garden mind is slowly
being emptied of green memories.

 

I'm Depressed ( Delam Gerefteh ast )
I am depressed, o so depressed.
I go to the porch and extend my fingers
over the taut skin of night
the lamps that link are dark, o so dark.
no one will introduce me to the sunlight
or escort me
to the sparrows' gathering.
commit flight to memory,
for the bird is mortal.

 

Let Us Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Season

"Let Us Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Season " was first published in a fall 1965 issue of Arash. One of Farrokhzad's longest and most pensive poems, it begins with a speaker's personal and individual declaration that implies a whole life behind it:

And this is I
a woman alone
at the threshold of a cold season
at the beginning of understanding
the polluted existence of the earth
and the simple and sad pessimism of the sky
and the incapacity of these concrete hands.

In "Let Us Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Season," Farrokhzad looks into both the past and the future:

time passed,
time passed and the clock stuck four,
struck four times.
today is the winter solstice.
I know the season's secrets...

the wind is blowing through the street,
the beginning of ruination.

I am cold, 
I am cold, and it would appear
that I will never be warm again...
I am cold and I know 
that nothing will be left
of all the red dreams of one wild poppy
but a few drops of blood.

I shall give up lines
and give up counting syllables too.
and I will seek refuge from the mob
of finite measured forms
In the sensitive planes of expanse.
I am naked, naked, naked,
I am naked as silence between words of love,
and all my wounds come form love,
from loving...

will I once again 
comb my hair with wind?
will I ever again plant pansies in the garden
and set geraniums in the sky
outside the window?
will I ever again dance on wine glasses
will the doorbell call me again
toward a voice's expectation?

I said to Mother, It's all over now.
I said, Things always happen before one thinks;
we have to send condolences
to the obituary page... .

A Lonely Woman Michael Hillmann

I believe in being a poet in all moments of life. Being a poet means being human. I know some poets whose daily behavior has nothing to do with their poetry. In other words, they are only poets when they wrote poetry. Then it is finished and they turn into greedy, indulgent, oppressive, shortsighted, miserable, and envious people. Well, I cannot believe their poems. I value the realities of life and when I find these gentlemen making fists and claims-that is, in their poems and essays-I get disgusted, and I doubt their honesty. I say to myself: Perhaps it is only for a plate of rice that they are screaming.

Forugh Farrokhzad, four Interviews, P. 79

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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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