The butterfly that perished with the candle

یاران پس از توبازبه راه تو می روند / شرمنده آن که راه براین کاروان گرفت

Every year, since that sad day when I went to my parents’ house and they told me the horrific news, when the twenty third of November comes along, I cannot but think of one couple—Dariush and Parvaneh Foroohar. When some time later I met their son and daughter, Arash and Parastoo, I saw the amazing resemblance. On this day I always think about them as well, that forever they will have to live with the thought of that awful autumn evening, when they lost their beloved parents.

They lost them neither in an accident nor from illness but by way of political murder. Iran also lost two of its most prominent nationalist leaders, a husband and wife who had lived and worked together tirelessly for nearly 45 years. One evening they met their death in the most vicious way. Their lives ended with a knock on the door. Parvaneh, who at the time was sick with fever, was stabbed 27 times. Blood was everywhere in their humble house on Hedayat Street in southern Tehran. To this day, her blood stains remain on the carpet.

Parvaneh Eskandari had become involved in the student movement in her teens, when she met Dariush Foruhar. She was a feminist, a human rights activist, and a poet. She wrote many poems on and about Iran. She was also a mother, raising two young children while her husband was confined in one prison or another during both the Pahlavi regime and the Islamic Republic. People who met this heroic couple always said that they were made for each other. They lived and struggled against injustice and finally died together. In memory of Parvaneh, I thought it would be suitable to post one of her poems, part of a collection gathered in a book by her daughter. The grand dame of modern Persian poetry, Simin Behbahani who has written the introduction to this collection, writes of Parvaneh:

“First let’s talk about ‘love’. Parvaneh was in love with her husband, idolized him. Hours and days would go by as she waited outside the prison to see him. She would wait for him with her young ones, impatient to see him come home to light up the house. It was no joke that her husband spent more than half of his life behind bars. But she never complained; she never reproached him. In all of her poetry she admires him, speaks of his courage, of his devotion, his quest for justice. Her other love, that for her homeland, also comes through in every poem. Parvaneh looked for light, she was all flame, she rose like the sun, and then she was silenced. May those who took her life so cruelly, who spilled her blood, not live to see the dawn.”

“ایران من بجاست”

ایران من دریغ

این سرزمین دلیران پاکباز

در خون تپید باز

باز از چراغ لاله برافروخت دشت ها

مرغان پرگشوده دریا به روز مرگ

چو آذرخش

راهی شدند به غارت توفان سهمناک

پرشور و بی هراس

ازغم دلم تپید

وزخشم پرشدم

باید رها شد از تن و تن را رها نمود

ایران خسته را

باید دوباره ساخت

باید چوسیل خروشان روانه شد

از بیخ و بن برید

طومار دشمنان

تا آسمان بپاست

تا ماه می درخشد و خورشید جان فزاست

ایران من بجاست.

6 مهر 1359

از کتاب ” شاید یک روز”

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