Farhang Jahanpour is a member of Kellogg College as well as a tutor in the Department of Continuing Education at Oxford University. Prior to his arrival at Oxford, Jahanpour taught Persian language and literature at Cambridge University before his return to Iran to serve as associate professor and chairman of the Department of Languages at the University of Isfahan. During his time at Isfahan, Jahanpour founded the first Department of American Studies in Iran and the first Faculty of Foreign Languages, where he consequently served as both professor and Dean. Upon returning to England, he served as the Chief Persian Monitor and Editor for the Middle East and North Africa at BBC Monitoring. Jahanpour attended various academic institutions such as Shiraz University (BA), University of Leeds (BA), University of Hull (MA), and University of Cambridge (Ph.D.).
Jahanpour published the “Directory of Iranian Officials” in 1992 and is currently writing a book about the modernist movement in Iran.
Recitation from Persian Contemporary Poetry
In this dead-end road. They sniff your mouth lest you have said I love you. They sniff your heart. These are strange times, darling, and they whip love on the barricades. We must hide love in the back room of the house. They keep the fire burning in this crooked, dead-end of the cold with …songs and poems. Don’t endanger yourself by thinking. These are strange times, darling. Whoever pounds on the door at night has come to kill the light. We must hide light in the back room of the house. We are the butchers standing at the crossroads with clubs and bloody cleavers.
To Live for Better Times
Beyond the clouds there is always the sun, and we should try to live for better times, but not just live. We should work, fight, struggle to bring about what we really dream about. I think a major problem with the poet’s …revolution was cynicism, was fatalism, talking about what was wrong, dwelling too much on the negative aspects instead of trying to lead the society and organize them in a constructive way about how they should move forward.
Feminism in Persian Poetry
In another militant poem, if you like, Call to Arms, she chastises women for having fallen behind men. Only you, oh Iranian women, have remained in bonds of wretchedness, misfortune and cruelty. If you want these bonds broken, grasp the skirt of obstinacy. Do not relent because of pleasing promises. Never submit to tyranny. Become a flat of anger, ache and pain. Excise the heavy stone of cruelty. It is your warm embracing bosom that nurtures proud and pompous man. It’s your joyous smile that bestows on his heart; warmth and vigor for that person who is your creation to enjoy preference and superiority is shameful.