Forough Farrokhzad

[Forūgh Farrokhzād]

The outstanding modernist Persian poet Forough Farrokhzad adopted a distinctly female perspective to cast an uncompromising critical eye on the society that had raised her. That stance is clearly in evidence in the poem ‘Only the Voice Remains’ which is reproduced here. It is one her last works, composed not long before her tragic death in a car accident. 

In his chapter ‘Shards of Infinitude: Neoplatonist Relics in Modern Persian Poetry’ (FoI, 419-32), Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak describes the poem as conveying the experience ‘of an upward ascent that can be said to constitute a modernist analogue to a Rumi ghazal where the speaker depicts the human soul’s upward journey as a fully-fledged ascension story’, in deliberate association with the Prophet Muḥammad’s voyage to the heavens (427-8).

Forough Farrokhzad (source:

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Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak (2004), Remembering the Flight – Twenty Poems by Forugh Farrokhzad, A Parallel Text in English and Persian, selection, translation and introduction by © Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak (Los Angeles, Ketab Corp.), 89-94.