CANCELED Legacy of Forugh Farrokhzad, presented with the Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies

CANCELED: The Poetry Center's events scheduled for March 12, 13, 19, and April 2, 2020 have been canceled by the university, together with all university-sponsored public programs, due to concerns involving covid-19.

We plan to reschedule this program for Fall 2020. 

An evening of poetry, fiction, film, and conversation, inspired and emboldened by the work and legacy of one of Iran's outstanding cultural figures of the 20th century, poet, filmmaker, and feminist iconoclast Forugh Farrokhzad (December 29, 1934 – February 13, 1967). Co-presented by The Poetry Center and the Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies at SF State, and supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, this program is free and open to the public.

Legacy of Forugh Farrokhzad
with Sholeh Wolpé, Jasmin Darznik, and Shabnam Piryaei
Thursday April 2, 2020
7:00 pm @ The Poetry Center
Humanities 512, San Francisco State University
supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts

…With an alien voice, utterly false, 
one can cry out: I love!
In the oppressive arms of a man
one can be a robust, beautiful female–
skin like leather tablecloth, 
breasts large and hard.
One can stain the sinlessness of love 
in the bed of a drunk, a madman, a tramp.
One can cunningly belittle 
every perplexing puzzle.
Alone, occupy oneself with crosswords,
content with unimportant words,
yes, unimportant letters, no more than five or six.
One can spend a lifetime kneeling,
head bowed, 
before the cold altar of the Imams,
find God inside an anonymous grave,
faith in a few paltry coins.
One can rot inside a mosque’s chamber,
an old woman, prayers dripping from lips.
Whatever the equation, one can always be a zero,
yielding nothing, whether added, subtracted, or multiplied….

Forugh Farrokhzad, from “Wind-up Doll,” tr. Sholeh Wolpé