About the poet:
Khwāja Shams-ud-Dīn Muḥammad Ḥāfeẓ-e Shīrāzī (Persian: خواجه شمسالدین محمد حافظ شیرازی), known by his pen name Hafez (حافظ Ḥāfeẓ ‘the memorizer; the (safe) keeper’; 1315-1390), was a Persian poet who “lauded the joys of love and wine but also targeted religious hypocrisy.” His collected works are regarded as a pinnacle of Persian literature and are to be found in the homes of most people in the Persian speaking world (mostly Afghanistan and Iran), who learn his poems by heart and still use them as proverbs and sayings. His life and poems have been the subject of much analysis, commentary, and interpretation, influencing post-14th-century Persian writing more than any other author.
Hafez, who was a 14th-century poet in Iran, is best known for his poems that can be described as “antinomian” and with the medieval use of the term “theosophical”; this term theosophy in the 13th and 14th centuries was used to indicate mystical work by “authors only inspired by the holy books” (as distinguished from theology). Hafez primarily wrote in the literary genre of lyric poetry that is the ideal style for expressing the ecstasy of divine inspiration in the mystical form of love poems.
Themes of his ghazals are the beloved, faith, and exposing hypocrisy. In his ghazals, he deals with love, wine, and tavern, all presenting the ecstasy and freedom from restraint, whether in the actual worldly release or in the voice of the lover speaking of divine love. His influence in the lives of Persian speakers can be found in “Hafez readings” (fāl-e hāfez, Persian: فال حافظ) and the frequent use of his poems in Persian traditional music, visual art, and Persian calligraphy. His tomb is visited often. Adaptations, imitations, and translations of his poems exist in all major languages.
Translated from the Persian by:
Los Angeles, Ca
April 8, 1999
Keep to your own affairs, why do you fault me?
My heart has fallen in love, what has befallen thee?
In the center of he, whom God made from nothing
There is a subtle point that no creature can see.
Until His lips fulfill my lips like a reed
From all the worldly advice I must flee.
The beggar of your home, of the eight heavens, has no need
The prisoner of your love, from both worlds, is thus free.
Though my drunkenness has brought forth my ruin
My essence is flourished by paying that ruinous fee.
O heart for the pain and injustice of love do not plead
For this is your lot from the justice of eternity.
Hafiz don’t help magic and fantasy further breed
The world is filled with such, from sea to sea.
Poem Lyric (Persian):
برو به کار خود ای واعظ این چه فریادست
مرا فـتاد دل از ره تو را چه افتادسـت
میان او کـه خدا آفریده اسـت از هیچ
دقیقهایست که هیچ آفریده نگشادست
بـه کام تا نرساند مرا لبـش چون نای
نصیحـت همه عالم به گوش من بادست
گدای کوی تو از هشت خلد مستغنیست
اسیر عشق تو از هر دو عالم آزادسـت
اگر چه مستی عشقـم خراب کرد ولی
اساس هستی من زان خراب آبادسـت
دلا مـنال ز بیداد و جور یار کـه یار
تو را نصیب همین کرد و این از آن دادست
برو فسانه مخوان و فسون مدم حافـظ
کز این فسانه و افسون مرا بسی یادست