Women in Iran

Excerpts from Niloufar Talebi’s Belonging: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World.

From Reza Farmand’s “My Mother Did Not Become Beautiful”:

My mother was not able to
Avoid bearing children
Or secretly
One night
Feed her uterus
To dogs.

My mother
Could not scour away
The thick crust
Of human ignorance
As she could the burnt
Hardened rice
On the bottom of the pot.

My mother was not able to
Win her wings
And breathe the boundless
Air of knowledge.
In her,
Stews repeated themselves
Teas repeated themselves
And the bubblings of meat soup.


My mother was not able to
Learn a spell
Become a bird
And one dawn of day
Break out
Of the kitchen window.

Granaz Moussavi’s “Post-Cinderella”:

I have gone so far for you
that my foot does not fit in any lone shoe
but has to,
so much has to have gone from me
to fit into you.