Poetry in Context: Saghi Ghahraman

What is “femininity”? Does “femininity” refer to qualities and behaviors inherent in women? Or does it refer to a set of mannerisms and attributes judged by a particular culture and age to be ideally associated with women/girls? Traditionally, women have been “respected” for their ability to procreate, and are considered nurturing and domestic. Within that mindset, the female body is thought to be less capable than the male body; therefore the “natural” occupation for women is thought to be marriage and motherhood. 53

Poetry in Context: Partow Nooriala

The voices of women writers have been absent from Persian literature, perhaps until recently. Is literature the only realm in which women could not nurture their creative talents? Women are absent from the history of Iran, absent from many figures of Persepolis, absent in the religious hierarchy of Islam, and invisible on the political scene. This analysis does not undertake the studying of women’s long silence, and the repression that denied them any access to power in the literary or social arena. Nonetheless, in order to understand the voices of contemporary women writers, it is…

Poetry in Context: Reza Farmand

She tiptoes around the stairs / deep in the thoughts of her patient’s vegetable and soup / but she is surrounded by a dark halo, she has died and yet remains so nurturing / in our lives, she wriggles everywhere / every corner of the house narrates her story / even in her funeral, she was immersed in her work / O my miserable mother! The stanza above is a free translation from the Persian, excerpted from a long poem by Mohammad Hossein Shahriar (1906-1988) published in Peyk (#118). The main character in Shahriar’s “mother-praising”…