Someone Who Is Not Like Anyone

Spread the facts!
Someone Who Is Not Like Anyone  
by: Forugh Farrokhzad
From the summer of 1964 through December 1966, Farrokhzad published five poems in various issues of Arash.  One of  them was “Someone Who Is Not Like Anyone” (1966).  In it, she scrutinizes the  new Pahlavi Tehran of modern, Westernized, mechanized ways and goods, indicts  upper class Tehranis, and calls for social justice for lower class Tehranis.   In this poem, Farrokhzad presents a dream of an egalitarian Iranian society.   The poem reads:

Someone Who Is Not Like Anyone (1966)

I’ve had a dream that someone is coming.
I’ve dreamt of a red star,
and my eyes lids keep twitching
and my shoes keep snapping to attention
and may I go blind
if  I’m lying.
I’ve dreamt of that red star
when I wasn’t asleep.
Someone is coming,
someone is coming
someone better,

someone who is like no one,
not like Father,
not like Ensi,
not like Yahya
not like Mother,
and is like the person who he ought to be.
and his height is greater than the trees
around the overseer’s house,
and his face is brighter
than the face of the mahdi,
and he’s not even afraid
Of  Sayyed Javad’s brother
who has gone
and put on a policeman’s uniform.
and he’s not even afraid of Sayyed Javad himself
who owns all the rooms of our house.
and his name just like Mother
says it at the beginning
and at the end of prayers
is either ‘judge of judges’
or ‘need of needs’.
And with his eyes closed
he can recite
all the hard words
in the third grade book,
and he can even take away a thousand
from twenty million without coming up short.
and he can buy on credit
however much he needs
from Sayyed Javad’s store.
And he can do something
so that the neon Allah sign
which was as green as dawn
will shine again
in the sky above the Meftahiyan Mosque.

how good bright light is,
how good bright light is,
and I want so much
for Yahya
to have a cart
and a small lantern,
and I want so much
to sit on Yahya’s cart
in the middle of the melons
and ride around Mohammadiyeh Square.
how great it is to ride around the square,
how great it is to sleep on the roof,
how great going to Melli Park is,
how good going to test of Pepsi is
how wonderful Fardin’s movies are,
and how I like all good things.
and I want so much
to pull Sayyed Javad’s daughter’s hair.

why am I so small
that I can get lost on the streets?
why doesn’t my father
who isn’t this small
and who doesn’t get lost on the streets
do something so that the person
who has appeared in my dreams
will speed up his arrival?
And the people in the slaughter-house
where even the earth in their gardens
is bloody
and even the water in their courtyard pools
is bloody
and even their shoe soles are bloody,
why don’t they do something ?
how lazy the winter sunshine is.

I’ve swept the stairs to the roof
and I’ve washed the windows too.
How come Father has to the dream
Only in his sleep?
I’ve swept the stairs to the roof
and I’ve washed the windows too.

Someone is coming,
someone is coming,
someone who in his heart is with us,
in his breathing is with us,
in his voice is with us,

someone whose coming
can’t be stopped
and handcuffed and thrown in jail,
someone who’s been born
under Yahya’s old clothes,
and day by day
grows bigger and bigger,
someone from the rain,
from the sound of rain splashing,
from among the whispering petunias.
someone is coming from the sky
at Tupkhaneh Square
on the night of the fireworks
to spread out the table cloth
and divide up the bread
and pass out the Pepsi
and divide up Melli Park
and pass out the whooping cough syrup
and pass out the slips on registration day
and give everybody hospital
waiting room numbers
and distribute the rubber boots
and pass out Fardin movie tickets
and give away Sayyed Javad’s
daughter’s dresses
and give away whatever doesn’t sell
and even give us our share.
I’ve had a dream.

A Lonely Woman,  Page 66-67   
by: Michael Hillmann
Mage Publishers, 1987