Green Delusion

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Green Delusion 
by: Forugh Farrokhzad
The following poem, called “Green Delusion” is described by the feminist critic Farzaneh Milani as “Forugh’s eloquent statement of all the sacrifices she has had to make for her art.” In this poem, which Milani entitles in translation “Green Terror”, the ever honest poet reveals that her decision to live as an individualistic female and artist is not without its price.
Doubts, questions, and twinges of regret remains to roads not taken and more conventional, more acceptable roles rejected. The speaker in “Green Delusion” recognizes that nature can no longer be a comforting idyllic force in her life, that she is far beyond able to seek refuge in comfortable maternal and other domestic female roles, and that her steadfast search for life’s meaning has deprived her of the comfort of religious faith.

I cried all day in the mirror.
Had entrusted my window to the trees’ green delusion.
My body would not fit n the cocoon of my loneliness.
And the odor of my paper crown had polluted the air
Of that sunless realm.

I couldn’t anymore, I just couldn’t:
Street sounds, the sound of birds,
The sound of felt balls being lost,
And the fleeting clamor of children,
And the dance of balloons
Bobbing upward at he end of their string stems
Like soap bubbles.
And the wind, wind which seemed
To be breathing in the depths
Of the deepest dark moments of lovemaking,
Were exerting pressure
On the ramparts of the silent fortress of my confidence
And through old cracks in the walls were calling my heart by name.

All day my gaze was fixed
On my life’s eyes,
At those two anxious fearful eyes which avoided my stare
And sought refuge in their lids’ safe seclusion like liars.

Which peak, which summit?
Do not all of these winding roads
Reach the point of convergence and termination
In that cold sucking mouth?

O simple words of deception and renunciation of bodies and desires,
What did you give me?
If I stuck a flower in my own hair,
Would it not be more alluring
Than this fraud, than this paper crown?

How the spirit of the desert got me
And the moon’s magic led me from the flock’s faith!
How the incompleteness of my heart grew large
And no half completed this half!
How I stood and saw
The ground beneath my two feet vanish,
And no warmth of my mate’s body
Fulfill the futile anticipation of my body!

Which peak, which summit?
Give me refuge, O apprehensive lights,
O bright doubting houses
On whose sunny roofs sway
Clothes laundered in the embrace of scented smoke.

Give me refuge, O simple whole women
Whose slender fingertips
The exhilarating movement of a fetus beneath the skin
And in whose opened blouses
The air always mingles with the smell of fresh milk.

Which peak, which summit?
Give me refuge, O hearthsful of fire-O good luck horeshoes.
And O song of copper pots in the blackened kitchen,
And O somber humming of the sewing machine,
And O day-and-night struggle between carpets and brooms.
Give me refuge, O insatiable loves,
Whose painful desire for immortality
Adorns your bed of conquests
With magical water and drops of fresh blood.

All day, all day,
Forsaken, forsaken like a corpse on water,
I floated towards the most terrifying rocks,
Toward the deepest sea caves.
And the most carnivorous of fish
And the thin vertebrae of my back
twinged with pain at sending death.

I couldn’t any longer, I just couldn’t.
The sound of my feet arose from the denial of the road,
And my despair had become vaster than my spirit’s capacity to endure.
And that spring season and that green-colored delusion
Passing by the window said to my heart:
You never progressed,
Yours has been a descent.”

Iranian Culture “A Persianist View”, Page 162
Michael Hillmann