Poetry News

Filmmaker Ebrahim Golestan Discusses Poet Forough Farrokhzad

By Harriet Staff


Iranian filmmaker Ebrahim Golestan tells the Guardian about his romantic connection with poet Forough Farrokhzad. Known as one of the most significant voices in contemporary Iranian poetry, Farrokhzad died in a car accident in 1967, at the age of 32. Golestan had not previously discussed his relationship to Farrokhzad. Saeed Kamali Dehghan writes more at the Guardian:

Mehdi Jami, who has written extensively about Farrokhzad’s influence on Persian literature, said the film-maker made a significant impact on her writing, particularly in introducing her to modern literary movements in the west. “If you want to name one person that had the most influence on Forough, that’s undoubtedly Golestan. They met each other at the right moment,” Jami said.

“In every culture you have cultural icons, like Shakespeare in Britain. Farrokhzad was like that for contemporary Iran, someone who formed the identity of our contemporariness,” Jami added. “She wrote in a simple and intimate way. She was not fake, nor was her poetry … She was the last prophet of truth-telling that our country has seen.”

Mohammad Reza Shafiei Kadkani, Iran’s most famous living poet, told the Guardian from Tehran that she was “truly modern”, without talking about modernism directly in her poetry. “She was very natural. She was the epitome of a real poet in her own time,” he said. “She had no masks, that’s why today we still read her, and in future we will read her, too.”

Golestan said two friends had introduced him to Farrokhzad in the late 1950s when she was looking for a job. At the time he was running a well-known studio in Darrous, an affluent area in northern Tehran. He left Iran a few years after Farrokhzad’s death over his dismay at the political atmosphere under the Shah, and has lived in Sussex since 1975. He has never returned to his home country.

Read on at the Guardian.