Hafiz

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Hafiz of Shiraz (Khwaja Shams ud-Din Hafiz-i Shirazi, 1326-1390) is widely recognized as the pre-eminent master of the Persian ghazal form. As 19th century Hafiz translator Gertrude Bell has observed, “These are the utterances of a great poet, the imaginative interpreter of the heart of man; they are not of one age, or of another, but for all time.”

Very little is known about his life, yet the lyrical beauty of his poetry has been celebrated by people around the world for centuries. Hafiz is one of the great Sufi poets, in the tradition of Rumi. In his native land of Persia (modern Iran), where his Divan is revered to an extent rivaled only by the Qur’an, the beauty of Hafiz’s lyrics has always been most appreciated when accompanied by music. His words are not so much poetry as they are songs.


 

I Have Learned so Much
I
Have
Learned
So much from God
That I can no longer
Call
Myself

A Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim,
a Buddhist, a Jew.

The Truth has shared so much of Itself
With me

That I can no longer call myself
A man, a woman, an angel,
Or even a pure
Soul.

Love has
Befriended Hafiz so completely
It has turned to ash
And freed
Me

Of every concept and image
my mind has ever known.

From: The Gift Translated by Daniel Ladinsky


Laughing At the Word Two

Only

That Illumined
One

Who keeps
Seducing the formless into form

Had the charm to win my
Heart.

Only a Perfect One

Who is always
Laughing at the word
Two

Can make you know

Of

Love.

From: The Gift
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky

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