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

Forough Farrokhzad, trans. from the Persian by Elizabeth Gray. New Directions, $16.95 trade paper (128p) ISBN 978-0-8112-3165-7

This excellent assemblage of the late Farrokhzad’s selected work brings the yearning and sensual lyricism of the modernist Iranian poet to a contemporary audience. Gray’s introduction provides useful context on Farrokhzad’s tragically short life, while her curation captures much of the arc and scope of Farrokhzad’s poetic imagination over the course of the poet’s prolific writing career. Early poems announce Farrokhzad’s dissatisfaction with repressive mid-20th-century Iranian culture: “Weary of zealous restraint, at midnight, in Satan’s bed/ I would seek shelter in the descent to a fresh sin.” Insistence on her own mortality runs through her oeuvre, “I kissed the cross of my fate/ on the hills of my execution,” while she continues to chafe under the strictures of society, “My body no longer fit the cocoon of my loneliness.” Full of powerful and often revolutionary feminist spirit, Farrokhzad’s bold verse should find new readers thanks to this skillful translation. (Apr.)
PW EDITORS’ PICKS FOR
THE BEST NEW BOOKS
PW EDITORS’ PICKS FOR THE BEST NEW BOOKS