This weeks Illustrated Women in History was submitted by Patti Mcjones. It is featured in the Illustrated Women in History zine #5 which is available here http://etsy.me/2nMhm6n
I saw a series of photographs of Forough Farrokhzad – Iranian poet and film-maker – recently when her former lover Ebrahim Golestan spoke of how much he still missed her in The Guardian in February. I was struck by her beauty and wondered why I’d never heard of her.
She died aged 32 in a car crash in which she swerved to miss a school bus.
I immediately read some of her poetry; it is stark and imparts a sense of liberty and suffocation, redolent of the constraints of Iranian society and her desire to transcend it.
I made the woodcut in a few hours as it had its own life. The quote at the base of the cut is from Forough’s poem ‘Reborn’. This is the first verse:
“All my being is a dark verse
that repeats you to the dawn
of unfading flowering and growth.
I conjured you in my poem with a sigh
and grafted you to water, fire, and trees.”