Very little is know about Hafiz of Shiraz, particularly his early life. His primary medium of expression was the ghazal, a Persian poetic form which, like the.
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Shams al-Din Hafiz Shirazi(1321 – 1389) Very little is know about Hafiz of Shiraz, particularly his early life. His primarymedium of expression was the ghazal, a Persian poetic form which, like theEnglish sonnet, has been widely used since the early middle ages. Hafiz isconsidered an incomparable master of the form. His works comprise 500 ghazals,42 Rubaiyees, and a few Ghaseedehs, composed over a period of 50 years. Hafizdid not compile his own poetry. Mohammad Golandaam, who also wrote apreface to his compilation, completed it in 813 A.H or 1410 a.d, some 21-22years after Hafiz’s death. Immediately after Hafiz’ death, many stories -some of mythical proportion- werewoven around it; the air of mystery has lingered to this day. He was born in the central Iranian city of Isfahan, somewhere between 1317 and1326 CE. His father, who was a coal merchant, moved the family to Shiraz whileHafiz was still a child and died early in the boy™s life. The family was left inserious debt; he and his mother went to live with an uncle. Despite leaving dayschool at one point, Hafiz managed to become quite well educated; fluent in bothArabic and Persian, he memorized the Qur™an at an early age (‘Hafiz’ or ‘Hafez’ isa title given to those who have memorized the Qur™an). He is said to haveworked as a copyist, in a drapery shop, and in a bakery, where he deliveredbread to the wealthy quarter of town (where tradition suggests that he metShakh-e Nabat (the name means ‘Branch of Sugar-cane’), a young woman towhom many of his poems are addressed to her). In his twenties, he married and fathered one child. According to tradition, inpursuit of his beloved, he kept a forty day and night vigil at the tomb of BabaKuhi. After completing this, he met his spiritual master, Attar of Shiraz, andbecame his disciple. From his early twenties to early thirties, he acquired thesupport of courtly patrons and became a poet of the court of Abu Ishak, gainingsubsequent fame and influence in Shiraz. This has been called the phase of”Spiritual Romanticism” in his poetry. Later in life, he became professor ofKoranic studies at a college in Shiraz. When Mubariz Muzaffar captured Shiraz, he ousted Hafiz from his teachingposition. At this time he wrote protest poems. In the events that followed, ShahShuja took Muzaffar (who was his father) as prisoner, and re-instated Hafiz. Hebegan his phase of subtle spirituality in his poetry. Around the age of 48, Hafizfell out favour with Shuja, and fled Shiraz for his safety, going into self-imposedexile in Isfahan. Poems of this time speak talk of his longing for Shiraz, – The World’s Poetry Archive

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Shakh-e Nabat, and for his spiritual Master, Attar. By invitation of Shah Shuja, he ended his exile and returned to Shiraz, where hewas again re-instated to his post at the College. Age 60 Longing to be united with his Creator, he began a forty day and nightvigil by sitting in a circle that he had drawn himself. Age 60 On the morn of the fortieth day of his vigil, which was also on the fortiethanniversary of meeting his Master Attar, he went to his Master, and upondrinking a cup of wine that Attar gave him, he attained Cosmic Consciousness orGod-Realization. In his sixties, Hafiz composed more than half of his ghazals, and taught a smallcircle of disciples. As tradition states, he began a forty day and night vigil at theage of thirty, longing to be united with his creator; upon completion of the vigil,he met his Master Attar, who gave him a cup of wine to drink. Having drunk thewine, Hafiz attained ‘Cosmic Consciousness’ or ‘God-Realization’ His poetry atthis time talks with the authority of a Master who is united with God. Hafiz is said to have died sometime between 1389 and 1390, reputedly at theage of 69. He was buried in the Musalla Gardens of Shiraz, on the banks of hisbeloved Ruknabad river. Hafiz only composed when he was divinely inspired, and therefore he averagedonly about 10 Ghazals per year. His focus was to write poetry worthy of theBeloved. To this day, Hafiz’s Divan (Poetry) is used by many as for guidance and direction.Over the centuries, there have been many attempts to translate the subtleties ofHafiz’s Persian verse into English. By all accounts even the best translations havebeen only partially successful; some translators have translated Hafiz directlyfrom the Persian, others have adapted their poetry from the work of othertranslators. Quotes, on Hafiz’ poetry: “In his poetry Hafiz has inscribed undeniable truth indelibly Hafiz has nopeer!” Goethe “You may remember the old Persian saying, ‘There is danger for him who takeththe tiger cub, and danger also for whosoever snatches a delusion from a woman.’ – The World’s Poetry Archive

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There is as much sense in Hafiz as in Horace, and as much knowledge of theworld” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ” Hafiz is as highly esteemed by his countrymen as Shakespeare by us, anddeserves as serious consideration” A. J. Arberry “Hafiz defies you to show him or put him in a condition inopportune or ignoble He fears nothing. He sees too far; he sees throughout; such is the only man Iwish to see or be.” – The World’s Poetry Archive

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Absolutely Clear Don’t surrender your lonelinessSo quickly.Let it cut more deep. Let it ferment and season youAs few humanOr even divine ingredients can. Something missing in my heart tonightHas made my eyes so soft,My voiceSo tender, My need of GodAbsolutelyClear. Shams al-Din Hafiz – The World’s Poetry Archive

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Arise And Fill A Golden Goblet Arise! and fill a golden goblet upUntil the wine of pleasure overflow,Before into thy skull’s pale empty cupA grimmer Cup-bearer the dust shall throw.Yea, to the Vale of Silence we must come;Yet shall the flagon laugh and Heaven’s domeThrill with an answering echo ere we go!Thou knowest that the riches of this fieldMake no abiding, let the goblet’s fireConsume the fleeting harvest Earth may yield!Oh Cypress-tree! green home of Love’s sweet choir,When I unto the dust I am have passed,Forget thy former wantonness, and castThy shadow o’er the dust of my desire.Flow, bitter tears, and wash me clean! for theyWhose feet are set upon the road that lies‚Twixt Earth and Heaven Thou shalt be pure,’ they say,’Before unto the pure thou lift thine eyes.’Seeing but himself, the Zealot sees but sin;Grief to the mirror of his soul let in,Oh Lord, and cloud it with the breath of sighs!No tainted eye shall gaze upon her face,No glass but that of an unsullied heartShall dare reflect my Lady’s perfect grace.Though like to snakes that from the herbage start,Thy curling locks have wounded me full sore,Thy red lips hold the power of the bezoar-Ah, touch and heat me where I lie apart!And when from her the wind blows perfume sweet,Tear, Hafiz, like the rose, thy robe in two,And cast thy rags beneath her flying feet,To deck the place thy mistress passes through. Translated by: Gertrude Bell Shams al-Din Hafiz – The World’s Poetry Archive

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Bitter Dolor In its beak, a nightingale had a roseleaf of exquisite colorAnd on that pleasant food, it nourished on some bitter dolorI asked, ‘Wherefore lament and cry despite this union fair? ‘He said, ‘In this, the beauty of the Beloved do I share.’If the true Beloved sat not with us, there is no room for grievanceA prosperous King was He; and the beggars He held in abhorrence.Our pleas and cries affect not the Friend endowed with beauty rareHappy he who for the beloved and the fortune of prosperity doth care.Arise! So that to the reed of the painter, we may give away our allThis wonderful picture, in the revolution of the compass, doth fallIf thou seek the path of love, think not of ill reputationSan’an his religious garment pawned at the tavern sans disputation.Happy the time of that gentle kalander who on the pathThe rosary of the King, in the (zunnar) 172 Christian girdle hath.Behold in HAFIZ’s eyes which waitHis huri’s palace-roof below,A figure of the ‘garden-grove,’The streams of which beneath it flow.’ (Translated by Ismail Salami) Shams al-Din Hafiz – The World’s Poetry Archive

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Bold Souls O nightingale! Bewail if my love thou desire.For, we are weeping lovers; yet, tear is our task dire.Where bloweth a perfumed breeze from the Friend’s hair,The Tartary musk-pods lose the aroma once so rare.Give wine so we may the robe of hypocrisy dye;For we are intoxicated with pride; yet, sober are we, aye.To devise a fancy for Thy tress, fools do not careTo get into the chains of love is what the bold souls dare.’Tis a deep charm which wakes the lover’s flameNot ruby lip, nor verdant down its nameBeauty is not the eye, lock, cheek and moleA thousand subtle points the heart control.The wayfarers purchase not for half a corn,The satin coat that void of skill is born.Difficult it seemeth to reach the Threshold of Thy Love:Aye, difficult as ascending to the rooftop of the heaven aboveAt dawn, in a dream, to the abode of the Beloved did I wend:Oh happy the dream in which one mayest see the Darling Friend.HAFIZ! Wound not His heart with tears, and end:For, eternal salvation in love doth bend (Translated by Ismail Salami) Shams al-Din Hafiz – The World’s Poetry Archive

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Bring Perfumes Sweet To Me FROM out the street of So-and-So,Oh wind, bring perfumes sweet to meFor I am sick and pale with woe;Oh bring me rest from misery!The dust that lies before her door,Love’s long desired elixir, pourUpon this wasted heart of mine–Bring me a promise and a sign! Between the ambush of mine eyesAnd my heart’s fort there’s enmity–Her eye-brow’s bow, the dart that flies,Beneath her lashes, bring to me!Sorrow and absence, glances cold,Before my time have made me old;A wine-cup from the hand of YouthBring me for pity and for ruth! Then shall all unbelievers tasteA draught or two of that same wine;But if they like it not, oh haste!And let joy’s flowing cup be mine.Cup-bearer, seize to-day, nor waitUntil to-morrow!–or from FateSome passport to felicity,Some written surety bring to me! My heart threw back the veil of woe,Consoled by Hafiz melody:From out the street of So-and-So,Oh wind, bring perfumes sweet to me! Shams al-Din Hafiz – The World’s Poetry Archive

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Brings Me Hope WHAT drunkenness is this that brings me hope–Who was the Cup-bearer, and whence the wine?That minstrel singing with full voice divine,What lay was his? for ‘mid the woven ropeOf song, he brought word from my Friend to meSet to his melody. The wind itself bore joy to Solomon;The Lapwing flew from Sheba’s garden close,Bringing good tidings of its queen and rose.Take thou the cup and go where meadows spanThe plain, whither the bird with tuneful throatHas brought Spring’s sweeter note. Welcome, oh rose, and full-blown eglantine!The violets their scented gladness fling,Jasmin breathes purity-art sorrowingLike an unopened bud, oh heart of mine?The wind of dawn that sets closed blossoms freeBrings its warm airs to thee. Saki, thy kiss shall still my bitter cry!Lift up your grief-bowed heads, all ye that weep,The Healer brings joy’s wine-cup–oh, drink deep!Disciple of the Tavern-priest am I;The pious Sheikh may promise future bliss,He brings me where joy is. The greedy glances of a Tartar hordeTo me seemed kind–my foeman spared me notThough one poor robe was all that I had got.But Heaven served Hafiz, as a slave his lord,And when he fled through regions desolate,Heaven brought him to thy gate. Shams al-Din Hafiz – The World’s Poetry Archive

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