This panel was compiled by the Conference Program Team from independently submitted paper proposals.
In this paper, I examine two poems by Forough Farrokhzad (1935-1967) and Rumi (1207-1273), both entitled Tavallodi Digar, “Rebirth,” which detail the experiences and emotional turmoil of the two poets through mystic love journeys. The poems share many similarities in terms of style, language and emotional expressions ;however, Farrokhzad expresses her love journey perceived through an earthly love rather than the mystical and. I offer an analysis of the two poems that illustrates their parallel style and structure and suggests that Farrokhzad’s insight about the journey to self-discovery was greatly inspired by the classical poet Rumi.
The Mystic poet’s journey consists of three stages: the first stage is the demand for love, which is unrequited. The second stage is the laborious process of reaching the beloved, in which the mystic shows the extent of his tolerance for suffering, his capacity for self-denial, and his devotion to God. The third and final stage is unification with God and victory over the human condition. Seeking Love is the main theme in Rumi’s Ghazals (Sonnets); he begins the first few hundred of his Ghazals by describing his longing for the beloved and continues this theme until he reaches divine union. This unification with the beloved drastically changes his poetic tone and theme from longing to celebration. He celebrates his love and he claims that since he was ready to detach himself from the earthly life, he has achieved absolute victory in his personal battle. Rumi’s Tavallodi Dobare, describes his journey through the three stages and summarizes his deeds which culminate in a declaration of victory.
Farrokhzad, on the other hand, begins her poem with the first stage of the journey, but she never reaches the final stage and remains unable to declare victory. She leaves her version of Rebirth in the stage of longing and remains within it until the end of her poetic life. Whether she was able to reach the goal with which she challenged herself, or if she ever found the answer to her quest remains undetermined. Even though she did not reach the final stage of the mystic poet’s journey, I maintain that Rumi’s work significantly influenced her life and poetry; Rumi’s influence, I argue, directs her mystical and emotional crises, as described in her Rebirth and in the later phases of her career