Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hafiz's Gift

This is a great poem written by the 14th century sufi poet and mystic known as Hafiz (his given name was Shams-ud-din Muhammad and lived around 1320-1389). He was born in Shiraz (modern Iran), where he spent nearly all of his life and became a famous sufi master.When he died he was thought to have written about 5,000 poems of which only 500-700 survive. His Divan (collected poems) is cosnidered a classic in the literature of Sufism. The work of Hafiz became known to the West largely through the efforts of Goethe. He was also greatly admired by writers such as Nietzsche, Pushkin, Turgenev, Carlyle and GarcĂ­a Lorca. Hazrat Inayat Khan, the Indian teacher often credited with bringing Sufism to the West, proclaimed that “the words of Hafiz have won every heart that listens.”
Hafiz is known for his ecstatic tributes to Divine Love. As Daniel Ladinsky (the man that has dedicated his life studying and translating the poems of Hafiz) writes in the Preface of The Gift,
"Hafiz brings us nearer to God. This Persian Master is a profound champion of freedom; he constantly encourages our hearts to dance! [...] Hafiz's poetry is rooted in the beautiful human need for companionship and in the soul's innate desire to surrender all experience - except Light." 

This is poem is taken from his book The Gift and in a few simple words he gives us the definition of love.

The Sun Never Says

Even

After
All this time
The sun never says to the earth,

"You owe

Me."

Look

What happens
With a love like that,
It lights the
Whole Sky. 
 
 
 
 (Translated by Daniel Ladinsky)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
References: 
Hafiz "The Gift", Translated by Daniel Ladinsky, Arkana, Penguin Group, 1999.

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