In 2023, Whistling Hens and Mojgan Misaghi became connected through the Iranian Female Composers Association Award, which allowed the three women to collaborate on an upcoming commission in 2024. This commission is sponsored in part by IFCA.
Whistling Hens’ dedication to promoting women composers served as the catalyst for Mojgan’s decision to incorporate a significant female figure—Táhirih—into this commissioning project. Táhirih holds a significant place in the composer’s personal history, having profoundly influenced her perspective on women's rights during her upbringing within a Bahá'í household.
Táhirih, also known as Fatimah Baraghani, was a 19th-century Iranian poet, women's rights activist, and religious figure within the Bábí faith. She fervently embraced the Báb's teachings and gained notoriety for her fearless advocacy. Táhirih is best remembered for unveiling herself in front of men during the Conference of Badasht, a bold act that symbolized her defiance of societal norms.
In 1852, Táhirih was executed in secret because of her affiliation with the Bábí faith and her role in the unveiling incident. Before her death, she defiantly declared, “You can kill me as soon as you like, but you cannot stop the emancipation of women.” Táhirih's legacy includes her significant contribution to the early women's rights movement and her revered position in the Bahá'í faith, where she remains an emblem of courage in the struggle for gender equality and religious freedom.
The text comes from Táhirih’s most famous poem, “Point by Point” in Persian, “نکته به نکته”.
گر به تو افتدم نظر چهره به چهره رو به رو
شرح دهم غم تو را نکته به نکته مو به مو
از پی دیدن رخت همچو صبا فتادهام
خانه به خانه در به در کوُچه به کوچه کو به کو
میرود از فراق تو خون دل از دو دیده ام
دجله به دجله یم به یم چشمه به چشمه جو به جو
دور دهان تنگ تو عارض عنبرین خطت
غنچه به غنچه گل به گل لاله به لاله بو به بو
ابرو و چشم و خال تو صید نموده مرغ دل
طبع به طبع دل به دل مهر به مهر و خو به خو
مهر تو را دل حزین بافته بر قماش جان
رشته به رشته نخ به نخ تار به تار پو به پو
در دل خویش طاهره گشت و ندید جز تو را
صفحه به صفحه لا به لا پرده به پرده تو به تو
If I met you face to face, I
would retrace—erase!—my heartbreak,
pain by pain,
ache by ache,
word by word,
point by point.
In search of you—just your face!—I
roam through the streets lost in disgrace,
house to house,
lane to lane,
place to place,
door to door.
My heart hopeless—broken, crushed!—I
heard it pound, till blood gushed from me,
fountain by fountain,
stream by stream,
river by river,
sea by sea.
The garden of your lips—your cheeks!—
your perfumed hair, I wander there,
bloom to bloom,
rose to rose,
petal to petal,
scent to scent.
Your eyebrow—your eye!—and the mole
on your face, somehow they tie me,
trait to trait,
kindness to kindness,
passion to passion,
love to love.
While I grieve, with love—your love!—I
will reweave the fabric of my soul,
stitch by stitch,
thread by thread,
warp by warp,
woof by woof.
Last, I—Táhirih—searched my heart, I
looked line by line. What did I find?
You and you,
you and you,
you and you.