Poems I Have Been Reading… Forugh Farrokhzad

In English we say ‘out of the mouths of babes’, meaning that children often say out loud the unpalatable or indiscreet truths that the adults all know but are trying to ignore. We say it with a hair-ruffling air of indulgence, the implication being that children can get away with statements that would be embarrassing or even dangerous when made by an adult.

On Tuesday evening I went to a workshop on Iranian poetry led by Javaad Alipoor, from theatre company Soroush, and we looked at a poem from the mid-1960s written by iconic female poet Forough Farrokhzad. It was written in the voice of a young girl, and with devastating simplicity it lays out all kinds of unspoken truths like open palms – what it is to be poor and to want things, what it is to mix up desires and needs, what it is to live in fear of police in your own homeland, what it is to put your faith in a messiah. It is wonderfully subversive, all the while wearing the pigtails of innocence. I loved it.

You can read it and find out more about Forugh by clicking here.

Forugh’s brother, the equally iconic poet, broadcaster and singer Fereydoun Farrokhzad, is the subject of Soroush’s new play My Brother’s Country, which comes to ARC Stockton on 23rd and 24th February – but I believe 23rd is sold out already, so you’d better get your Wednesday tickets sharpish! Click here for information and booking. It falls under ARC’s new ‘Pay What You Decide’ initiative, so really have nothing to lose.

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