Forugh Farrokhzad — Iranian poet, writer, women’s rights defender — was born 86 years ago, in Tehran, and died at the tragically young age of 32, but not before establishing herself as one of the prominent female poets of her time.
She fell in love and married satirist Parviz Shapour when she was only 16. When they divorced in 1954 she lost custody of her child, Kamyar (who inspired her poem Return). She was treated in a psychiatric clinic for depression that same year.
Her first poetry book, Captive, was published in 1955.
In quick succession she published her second book of poetry, The Wall, in 1956. In 1958 she spent nine months in Europe, before returning to Iran, where she became interested in filmmaking, working as an actor, screenwriter, cameraperson, co-director, and film editor. In 1963 she directed the short film The House is Black which is considered a landmark in Iranian cinema and has grown in stature since its release.
In 1964 she published her fourth poetry collection, Reborn. Her posthumous collection Another Birth is considered her poetic masterpiece.
Farrokhzad died in a traffic accident in Tehran on 14 February 1967. Despite attempts to censor her work in Iran, her legacy has been profound and far-reaching, and she is now considered one of the key female poets of the 20th century.