Forough Farrokhzad (1935-1967) is the most famous female literary figure in Iranian history, and Iran's most popular 20th century poet. Married at sixteen, a mother at eighteen and divorced (and forbidden to ever see her son again) by age twenty, she early in life discarded the conventional roles expected of Iranian woman.

She started writing and publishing very young; her first volume of poetry was published when she was seventeen. Many others would follow, including The Captive, The Wall, Rebellion, Another Birth, and the posthumously published Let Us Have Faith in the Beginning of the Cold Season. Her poetry, which addressed subjects like sex and the treatment of women, was considered scandalous in many circles, but quickly gained a devoted following among Iran's young people.

She was also a filmmaker and director and in 1963 she won the prize for best documentary at the 1963 Uberhausen, Germany Film Festival for her film The House is Black, about a leper colony in Tabriz, Iran. In 1965, UNESCO and Bernardo Bertolucci both produced films about her remarkable life.

In 1967, she was planning to play the lead role in a Tehran stage production of her Persian translation of George Bernard Shaw's St. Joan when she died in an automobile crash at age 32.

Red Rose

Red rose,
Red rose,
Red rose:

He took me to the rose garden,
And in darkness, he threaded
a red rose in my ruffled hair,
And made love with me
On a red rose petal.

O paralysed pigeons,
O native, infertile trees,
O blind windows,
Below my heart and deep inside my loins
A red rose has begun to grow,
A red rose,
Red as the flags of revolution.

Ah! I am pregnant, pregnant,
I am pregnant.

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