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
Like a blooming night flower,
Bestow your vital fragrance of happiness
Upon our intimate assembly.
Change rooms in your mind for a day.
All the hemispheres in existence
Lie beside an equator
In your heart.
In your thousand other forms
As you mount the hidden tide and travel
All the hemispheres in heaven
Are sitting around a fire
While stitching themselves together
Into the Great Circle inside of
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.
I Heard God Laughing - Renderings of Hafiz,
by Daniel Ladinsky