A Poem a Day: Forugh Farrokhzad

I first learned of Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzad from the enthusiastic endorsement of Azar Nafisi, in Reading Lolita in Tehran. It took some searching, but I finally saw a copy of a book of her poetry at the Harvard Coop. Sin is a collection of selected poems by the tragically deceased Farrokhzad, translated by Sholeh Wolpé. Here is the poem for which the collection is named after:


I have sinned a rapturous sin
in a warm enflamed embrace,
sinned in a pair of vindictive arms,
arms violent and ablaze.

In that quiet vacant dark
I looked into his mystic eyes,
found such longing that my heart
fluttered impatient in my breast.

In that quiet vacant dark
I sat beside him punch-drunk,
his lips released desire on mine,
grief unclenched my crazy heart.

I poured in his ears lyrics of love:
O my life, my lover it’s you I want.
Life-giving arms, it’s you I crave.
Crazed lover, for you I thirst.

Lust enflamed his eyes,
red wine trembled in the cup,
my body, naked and drunk,
quivered softly on his breast.

I have sinned a rapturous sin
beside a body quivering and spent.
I do not know what I did O God,
in that quiet vacant dark.

Photograph: Wendy Marijnissen

Photograph: Wendy Marijnissen

This entry was posted in Iran, Literature, National Poetry Month. Bookmark the permalink.

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