Most accounts of Táhirih have been either adulatory and hagiographic, vituperative and condemnatory, or facile and distortive. She has been depicted either as a saintly martyr, a cunning vixen, or a fiery feminist. If the truly heroic dimensions of her life and her character are to be appreciated, she must be viewed as she saw herself and within the context of her awn culture. It is her poetry that both reveals the layers of her complex motivations and makes her accessible. The aim of this essay is to allow her own voice, through her poems, to speak for herself, her time, and her motivations.
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Copyright © 2000 Amin Banani