Thursday, April 06, 2006

Poetry Thursday - Hafiz of Shiraz

Photography Credit: "In the Treetops"
from our personal collection

         All the Hemispheres

Leave the familiar for a while.
Let your senses and bodies stretch out

Like a welcomed season
Onto the meadows and shores and hills.

Open up to the Roof.
Make a new water-mark on your excitement
And love.

Like a blooming night flower,
Bestow your vital fragrance of happiness
And giving
Upon our intimate assembly.

Change rooms in your mind for a day.

All the hemispheres in existence
Lie beside an equator
In your heart.

Greet Yourself
In your thousand other forms
As you mount the hidden tide and travel
Back home.

All the hemispheres in heaven
Are sitting around a fire

While stitching themselves together
Into the Great Circle inside of

~ Hafiz~

From: The Subject Tonight is Love
translated by Daniel Ladinsky

The dates of his life are not exact, but it is believed Hafiz of Shiraz, beloved Persian poet, was born in 1320s AD in South Central Iran and lived until about the age of 69. Like Rumi he was one of the great Sufi poets belonging to a spiritual movement seeking truth and wisdom. The Sufi Movement focused on unity, balance, harmony, love, and beauty, with universal arms which were respectful of all religious teachings and beliefs. He used the ghazal, a strict poetic form of expression like the English sonnet, to create his poetry, but it is believed he may not have actually written any of his poems with pen in hand. He likely sang them or recited them aloud. He was the greatest of all lyrical poets but was not as well known in the western world. Hafiz may have composed as many as 693 poems during his life. According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Haifz is a poet for poets." His poetry was referred to as the Songs of Hafiz.

Hafiz image: Artwork from cover of
I Heard God Laughing - Renderings of Hafiz,
by Daniel Ladinsky


Lori Witzel said...

I love this writing! Have a copy of Coleman Bark's wonderful translations of Rumi, but somehow Hafiz slipped past my radar.

Mystics as poets are the best...

MB said...

Oh, Sky! This is just what I needed to read this morning. How perfectly lovely! A poet's poet, indeed.

tara dawn said...

This is beautiful! What irony that as you were sharing the words of Hafiz of Shiraz, I was sharing the words of Rumi. I certainly inherited a love of esquisite poetry from you:)
Thanks for sharing this. I will have to check out more of his beautiful writings.
Love to you,
Tara Dawn

Rexroth's Daughter said...

I have never heard of Hafiz before. This is such a lovely poem. So spacious and light. I love the lines:
Greet Yourself
In your thousand other forms...

Thank you for choosing such a wonderful poem.

amy said...

gorgeous poem. I love Hafiz's poems they hum with imagery.

beansprout said...

Beautiful choice, Sky. Thanks so much.

Patry Francis said...

I got a 2006 calendar with a different
poem by Hafiz every month. This one is particularly beautiful.

Endment said...

This is great - leaving the familiar and changing the rooms of my mind.
This is a new poet for me --- Thanks for this post

In Otter Space said...

Reading this felt like I was on Sabatical...relaxed my soul.
Love...changing rooms in my mind.

Tabor said...

i just cannot read your blogs until I retire. Too much cool stuff to indulge in. I am wondering if this poem would work for a friend of mine who is afraid to travel...?

harmonyinline said...

I had never heard of Hafiz before, I beautiful poem kind of feels like a warm bath or a hug...

Sky said...

lori - glad you have found him. you will enjoy this new discovery.

mb - so glad you enjoyed it. :)

tara - yes, we are often on the same page - literally. glad you got some of my better genes! ;)

robin - it is always nice to find a new poet, isn't it?

amy - interesting choice of words in your comment - he sang most of the poems he created! glad you found the music!

beansprout - thanks and you're welcome!

patry - wish i could see that!

endment - glad to introduce a new poet to you!

otter - wonderful to find peace with hafiz!

tabor - hope retirement is just around the corner since your hubby has moved into his! in response to your qt.: hmmmmm...what about the "road not taken" by robert frost?

harmony - the music of hafiz is so relaxing, isn't it? :)

Mary said...

*Change rooms in your mind for a day*. Wonderful.

I know Hafiz, but not well, and I hadn't come across this poem. Thank you sky

K said...

What a beautiful post. This was exactly what I needed today (and now that I think of this, every day), thanks!

I had never heard of this poet, but I'm so glad I do now.

krista said...


You have no idea what your encouragement means to me. Seriously. I love the way you interpret poetry- It is absolutely inspiring, and I feel really blessed to have met you in this way.

Knowing you makes poetry so much more accessilbe to me. I always read the poems you post 3 or 4 times, even if they are difficult for me to understand. I know that I will be rewarded with at least some nugget of understanding that is sweet.

Also, I know that if I felt completely confused you would take the time to help me see more in the words.

You are wonderful, inspiring and awesome- thank you.

(PS- My favourite part was this part:

All the hemispheres in existence
Lie beside an equator
In your heart.)

Sky said...

mary - good to see you again. :)

k - so glad to introduce you!

krista - your words touch me very deeply. :) i am so glad to be part of the positive energy around you. i am also very happy to meet you - your honesty is so refreshing! yes, i am happy to help you with poetry any time you need it - if i can! sometimes i feel lost, too! :)

Apples said...

I have a copy of his book :) My favourite is 'Where Dolphins Dance' :)

colleen said...

I do love Hafiz and have a book that not only includes his poetry but a biography. What a wild one he was.

Your comment over at Patry's "On Writing and Ambition" spoke well to the same reason I have shied away from pursing to write for a living...or more to point...haven't pursued getting paid for doing other people's writing for them.