Forogh Farokhzad

Forough Farrokhzad, Poet, Iran, 1934-1968

Forough Farrokhzad  was born in 1935 in Tehran, to career military officer Colonel Mohammad Baqer Farrokhzad and his wife Touran Vaziri-Tabar, Forough was the third of seven children. She attended school until the ninth grade. After, she was taught painting and sewing at a girls’ school for the manual arts. At the age of 16, Forough was married to satirist Parviz Shapour. After moving to Ahvaz with her husband, Forough continued painting and sewing, but her true love was poetry.

In contrast to her seemingly quiet life as a mother and wife, Forough’s poetry was wild, rebellious, feminist, and groundbreaking. Unlike many of her predecessors, Forough didn’t write about flowers and trees, the beauties of nature, and the dainty birds in her garden. She wrote about the deepest desires and dreams of women confined by societal expectations and rigid roles, laying the groundwork for feminist literature for decades to come.

Forough’s strong feminine voice became the focus of much negative attention and open disapproval, both during her lifetime and after. Her poetry was banned for more than a decade after the Islamic Revolution in Iran, but she remains a pioneer whose words traveled beyond the country’s borders to inspire feminist thought and activism more than forty decades after her death.