Let Us Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Season: Selected Poems of Forough Farrokhzad

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Let Us Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Season: Selected Poems of Forough Farrokhzad book cover

In the years since her tragic death in a car accident at age thirty-two in 1967, Forough Farrokhzad—poet, painter, screenwriter, filmmaker—has become a literary figure as influential as Lorca or Akhmatova, celebrated as a feminist trailblazer of Iranian literature and as an iconoclastic figure of contemporary world literature. As Mehdi Jami writes in The Guardian, “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.”

Thoughtfully curated and deftly translated this Selected Poems gathers stunning work from Farrokhzad’s whole writing life, early to late, including the entirety of her posthumous collection, Let Us Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Season. Readers can thoroughly treasure this expansive poet of desire and loss, of classical reinvention, of lexical variation and sonic beauty, of personal and political despair, and of terrifying wisdom and hope.

Selected Poems

After You

Window

I Will Greet the Sun Again

Reviews

Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr.’s new translations bring Farrokhzad’s vision into focus for Anglophone readers. Choosing a representative sample of forty poems, Gray has made stark, astringent, and visually striking versions that sit comfortably in their new language, as few earlier attempts have. Farrokhzad has a mystical sensibility, which is a challenge for the translator, who must strike a balance between the poem’s worldly material and spiritual tone. It is a mark of their success that Gray’s renditions pull the reader along as they attain liftoff.

4 Columns, 1 April 2022