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Seda: The Art + Culture of Iran

Seda: Voices of Iran

Seda: The Art + Culture of Iran

Painting by Khosrow Hassanzadeh

This page is under construction.


Iranian women warriors

It is only our voice that shall remain of us.

Tanha Sedast ke meemanad.

The name we have chosen for our curriculum on Iran is Seda.   In Farsi, it means both voice and sound. 

The contemporary Iranian poet  Forough Farrokhzad , translated here by Sholeh Wolpe, offers us insight into the importance of voice, reflection and commitment to continue to work for the future.


Only Voice Remains by Forugh Farrokhzad

Why should I stop, why?

Birds have gone to seek their blue way.

The horizon is horizontal,

movement vertical—a gushing geyser.

Bright stars spin as far as the eye can see.


The Earth repeats itself in space, air tunnels

become connecting canals and day changes

to an entity so vast it cannot be stuffed

into the narrow imaginations of the newspaper worms.

Why should I stop?


The path meanders among life’s tiny veins

and the climate of the moon’s womb will annihilate

the cancerous cells, and in the chemical aura of after-dawn

there will remain only voice-- voice seeping into time.


Why should I stop?

What is a swamp but a spawning ground

for corruption’s vermin?

Swelled corpses pen the morgue’s thoughts,

the cad hides his yellowness in the dark,

and the cockroach

… ah when the cockroach harangues,


why should I stop?

Printer’s lead letters line up in vain.

Lead letters in league cannot salvage petty thoughts.

My essence is of trees; breathing stale air depresses me.

A bird long dead counseled me to remember flight.

Fusion creates the greatest force—

fusion with the sun’s luminescent soul,

comprehension flooding with light.

Windmills eventually warp and rot.


Why should I stop?

I hold to my breasts sheaves of unripe wheat

and give them milk.

Voice, voice, only voice.

The water’s voice, its wish to flow,

the starlight’s voice pouring upon the earth’s female form,

the voice of the egg in the womb congealing into sense,

the clotting together of love’s minds.

Voice, voice, voice, only voice remains.

In a world of runts,

measurements orbit around zero.


Why must I stop?

The four elements alone rule me;

my heart’s charter cannot be drafted

by the provincial government of the blind.

What have I to do with the long feral howls

of the beasts’ genitals?

What have I to do with the slow progress

of a maggot through flesh?

It’s the flowers’ bloodstained history that has committed me to life,

the flowers’ bloodstained history, you hear?


Translation: Sholeh Wolpe


 Introduction to Seda

 Facts and Figures on Contemporary Iran




 Expediency Council

 Medical Research

 The Iranian Constitution and Governing Structure

 Freedom of the Press


 Military and Security Forces


 Population Age Range


 Photographs of Contemporary Iran--Abdi Sami

 UNESCO Heritage Sites in Iran


 Meidan Emam, Esfahan



 Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System

 Takht-e Soleyman

 Tchogha Zanbil

 Proposed UNESCO Heritage Sites for Iran

 Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran

 Bam and its Cultural Landscape

 History of Iran

 BCE 5100-1300

 BCE 750-580

 BCE 559-481

 BCE 480-327

 AD 224-1220






 100 Years of History in Pictures



 Iran Update

 An Introduction to the Iranian Reverence for Persian Poetry

 Mir Hossein Mousavi on Happenings in the Middle East

 President Obama's Norouz Message to Iran

 Iranian Literature

 Nasir Khusraw (1004-1008)

 Omar Khayyam (1048-1131)

 Sanāʾī’ (1118-1152)

 Attar (1120 - 1220?)

 Nezami (1141-1203)

 Saadi (1184 – 1283/1291?)

 Rumi (1207-1273)

 Hafez (1319-1389)

 Shahnaz A'lami

 Rira Abbasi

 Mana Aghaee

 Manouchehr Atashi

 Simin Behbahani

 Houshang Ebtehaj

 Zhaleh Esfahani

 Parvin E'tesami

 Forough Farrokhzad

 Bijan Jalali 

 Sheema Kalbasi

 Siavash Kasraie

 Mahmud Kianush

 Fereydoon Moshiri

 Hafez Mousavi

 Bänoo Zan: War Talks

 Granaz Moussavi

 Ziba Jarbassi: Collage 2

 Maryam Hooleh 

 Nader Naderpour 

 Yadollah Royai

 Mehdi Akhavan Sales 

 Sohrab Sepehri

 Abmad Shamlou

 Sholeh Wolpé 

 Nima Yushij

 Maps of Iran

 Iran and the Middle East

 Iran in the World

 500 BCE Persian Empire

 1592 Stoopendaal Map of Persia

 1730 Seuterri Map of Persia 

 1851 Map of Persia

 Territorial Changes 19th and 20th Century

 Political Map

 Physical Map

 Ethnic Iran

 Blank Map

 Iranian Literature The Iranian Reader--Fiction

 Reza Jula'i (Short Story) The Night Shift

 Reza Jula'i (Short Story) The End of Remembrance

 Marsha Mehran (Excerpt from Novel) Rosewater and Soda Bread 

 Morteza Miraftabi (Short Story) The Acquaintance

 Morteza Miraftabi (Short Storty) The Planter in a City Window

 Gina B. Nahai (Excerpt from Novel) Caspain Rain

 Gina Nahai (Excerpt from Novel) Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith

 Shahrnush Parsipur (Short Story)The Gentlemen

 Kader Abdolah: Iranian Writing in Dutch

 The Iran Reader--Non-Fiction

 Davar Ardalan's My Name is Iran

 Firoozeh Dumas's Funny in Farsi

 Shirin Ebadi's Iran Awakening

 Shirin Ebadi Nobel Prize Speech 

 Roya. Hakakian Journey from the Land of No

 Shahriar Mandanipour (Essay) Wheatfields or Apple Orchards

 Azar Nafisi Things I've Been Silent About: Memories

 Azar Nafisi Reading Loita in Tehran

 Monir Shahroudy 

 Iranian Proverbs

 Contemporary Iranian Art

 Khosrow Hassanzadeh: Iran's "Political Artist"

 Shirin Neshat: Exploring Issues of Iran

 Persian Music

 Traditional Persian Instruments

 Traditional Instruments in Persian Paintings

 Iranian Classical Music Ensembles

 Iran and Cartoons

 Iran and Cartoons: 2009 Election

 Iran and Cartoons: 2009 Election demonstrations

 Iran and Cartoons: Nuclear Issue

 Iran and Cartoons: US Iran Relations

 Teaching and Learning about Iran

 Lesson : The Persepolis Archive (World Savvy Monitor)

 Lesson: The Legal Battle Over the Persepolis Archives (World Savvy Monitor)

 Lesson: The Iranian Youth Bulge (World Savvy Monitor)

 Lesson: Bridge to Iran (Link TV: Television without Borders)

 Lesson: Current Background on Iran (Teachable Moment)

 Lesson: Iran and the U.S. (Teachable Moment)

 Lesson: The Bush Administration Iranian Policy (Teachable Moment)

 Lesson: Iran's Nuclear Program (Teachable Moment)

 Lesson: Nuclear Weapons Complications (Teachable Moment)

 Lesson: Turmoil in Tehran (Teachable Moment)

 Lesson: Crackdown on Demonstrators (Teachable Moment)

 Annotated Bibliography

 History, Culture and Political Understandings

 Classical Iran

 Contemporary Fiction

 Contemporary Non-Fiction: Memoirs

 Contemporary Poetry

 Iranian (Persian) Themes Written by Western Writers

 Graphic Novel

 Films and Documentaries

 For a Moment, Freedom

 Recommended Internet Sites

 Iran: YouTube Presentations Worth Seeing


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