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A Glimpse Into the Life and Poetry of Hafez/Hafiz

Updated on November 7, 2018
manatita44 profile image

Manatita is an esteemed author living in London, UK. He writes spiritual books, flash fiction and esoteric poetry, his favourite genre.



Next to Rumi, Hafiz is one of the world’s most beloved mystic poets. The poems of Hafiz have a sublime, ethereal, lofty as well as a musical quality, which also embody a great spontaneity. Here is the first example of his poetry:

“ 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 up the sky." -Hafiz

One’s Love should be unconditional as when we give freely, like the sun, we can achieve the impossible … make sacrifices for Love.

Here's is yet another powerful, thought-provoking piece:

"This sky where we live, is no place to loose your wings

So Love, love, love." -Hafez.


Life and Work

Shams-ud-Dīn Muhammad Ḥāfeẓ-e Shīrāzī, known by his pen name Hafez, was a Persian poet who quintessentially wrote mystical poetry from his own experiences. Much of his poetry appears frequently in Persian homes, traditional music and the arts.

His tombstone is visited often and his work has appeared in many languages. Hafez was fond of teaching in a way which pointed the religionists … the priests and mullahs of his day, to take a closer look at themselves:

Here’s an interesting piece:

“... I can no longer call myself a Christian,

A Hindu, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Jew...

Love has befriended me so completely,

It has turned to ash and freed me,

Of every concept and image my mind has ever known.” -Hafez.

Here the poet sees pure Love as his freedom … liberation and as such he has become free of all constraints of Faith.

His collected works are regarded as a pinnacle of Persian literature and many poetry-lovers, both East and West, are familiar with his work. The poetry of Hafez has proved to be a comfort and solace to many.

Tomb of Hafez


Mystical and Literary Works

Hafez life and poems have been studied by many and his poetry is on a par with Rumi and other mystics of his age. Some of his poems are short, enlightening, elevating and illumining … reaching out to the Hearts of devotees and seekers alike:

“This is the kind of Friend
You are -
Without making me realize
My soul's anguished history,
You slip into my house at night,
And while I am sleeping,
You silently carry off
All my suffering and sordid past
In Your beautiful
Hands.” -Hafez

The past is dust. It sits on our shoulders like dead elephants and make us feel unworthy … creates doubt and guilt like black spots on the magnificence of our Spirit. Happiness lies in the ‘letting go’ of these things and in being in harmony with ALL. So beautiful when Love steals them by the Light of Its compassion, even when we are asleep.

The poetry of Hafez is essentially mystical, expressing the ecstasy of divine inspiration in the form of Love. His musical pieces speak primarily of the Absolute, of Allah, but he uses his poetry to enlighten those who, like Pharisees, adhered strictly to the letter of the law. Hafez deals with the 'Higher Love', intoxication and longing, all presenting the ecstasy and freedom from restraint, in the voice of the lover speaking of divine love.

Can you feel the aesthetic beauty of this poem?

With Cup in Hand

“With cup in hand, the Beloved one day walked into the Winehouse.
And with only a wink, intoxicated all those already drunk with wine.

Can I say truly: ‘I exist,’ when I don’t know my true Self?
Can I truly say: ‘I don’t,’ when I’m expecting The Divine?...”

Shiraz, Birthplace of Hafez

Birthplace, Poetry and Early Life

Some of Hafez best poems, are those that are directly impactful, reaches for the inner core of being … inspires thought:

“What do sad people have in common?

It seems they have all built

A shrine to the past and often go

There and do a strange wail and worship.

What is the beginning of Happiness?

It is to stop being so religious like that. -Hafez

The past is dust. It sits on our shoulders like dead elephants and make us feel unworthy … creates doubt and guilt like black spots on the magnificence of our Spirit. Happiness lies in the ‘letting go’ of these things and in being in harmony with ALL.

Hafez is said to have been born in Shiraz, Iran, some say in 1315 and died in 1390. His parents were from Kazerun, Fars Province. Not much is known about his life.

He had a phenominal memory and is said to have memorized the Quran, simply by listening to his father’s recitations. Thus he was given the name of Hafez, which he kept and used in his poetry. At the same time, he is said to have known by heart the works of other mystics, including Rumi ( Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balki), Saadi, Farid ud-Din, and Nizami.


Intellectual and Artistic Legacy

Hafez hints at his attainment of Cosmic Union, by the very authority in which he writes a great many of his poems:

"I can see the angels, sitting on your ears,

Polishing trumpets; replacing strings,

Stretching new skins on the drums,

And gathering wood for the evening's fire.

They danced last night,

But you did not hear them." -Hafiz

During his lifetime, Hafez was know and acclaimed throughout his region. His work was first translated into English in 1771 by William Jones and was highly appreciated by the great Ralph Waldo Emerson. Hafez is the most popular poet in Iran, and his works can be found in almost every Iranian home. In fact, October 12 is celebrated as Hafez Day.

He was honoured with a tomb, Hafezieh, twenty years after his passing, erected in the Musalla Gardens in Shiraz. Some alterations was made by a French architect, in the late 1930s, and the tomb is raised up on a dais amidst rose gardens, orange trees and water channels.

Many devotees visit his tomb/his mausoleum and the atmosphere is festive with visitors reciting and singing their favorite Hafez poems.

There are a few versions of his collected works (or Dīvān). In Iran and Afghanistan, Since the early 1940s, and indeed more so today in the West, many scholars have attempted various studies and translations of his work.


So, we see that Hafiz’ outpouring of Love and splendour, was truly immaculate … that it had tremendous influence on scholars both East and West and that he has a very prominent place in the Hearts and minds of numerous humans from all walks of life. I will end with two poems from Hafez to strengthen and nourish us all, as he reminds us that our true home is ‘somewhere else.’

“Listen; this world is the lunatic's sphere ,

Don't always agree it's real,
Even with my feet upon it

And the postman knowing my door
My address is somewhere else.” -Hafiz

“My life is like a candle that has burned all night, and has burned away:

And like the burned moth, I will not rest until I see the light of day.

O Beloved, come back, so that Hafez’s spent life will be returned to him;
Like an arrow, against all of nature, shot from his drunken bow.” -Hafez.

Seek and ye shall find;

Knock, and the door will be opened to you. (New Testament Gospel)

Manatita, The Lantern Carrier. 27th October, 2018

Contributions: Wikipedia plus the world wide web.

Metaphysical Poetry

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© 2018 manatita44


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  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    14 months ago from london

    Mary, You make me laugh. I like you a lot and I see your potential, but you keep telling me what you should have done. Can I ask why you are not doing it? Much Love.

  • aesta1 profile image

    Mary Norton 

    14 months ago from Ontario, Canada

    I read once in a novel about Hafez and how much he is loved in Iran. I meant to search about his poetry but had not done it so I appreciate this very much.

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    14 months ago from london

    So glad that you are familiar. Hari om!

  • Sean Dragon profile image

    Ioannis Arvanitis 

    14 months ago from Greece, Almyros

    My dear Brother, thank you so much for this article! You have made justice to a great Soul, a faithful servant of Love! People like him or Rumi or Kabir or Sri Chinmoy are blessings for our world. They were living flames sent by God to light our way! He is one of my favourite mystics. I hope many to read.

    "This sky where we live, is no place to loose your wings

    So Love, love, love."



  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    14 months ago from london

    Yes. He was as remarkable as Rumi and Kabir. You seem enlightened. Sublime! Thank you so much!!

  • Venkatachari M profile image

    Venkatachari M 

    14 months ago from Hyderabad, India

    It's a beautiful review of the Hafiz's poetry and his thoughts. Very inspiring and spiritual.

    I like this observation from Hafiz:

    t seems they have all built

    A shrine to the past and often go

    There and do a strange wail and worship.

    What is the beginning of Happiness?

    It is to stop being so religious like that. -Hafez

    Thanks for bringing this wonderful personality to light.

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    14 months ago from london

    Yes, Linda. One day, one day. One's life need to be a river of tears; their Heart a burning fire for the wisdom of the infinite. Then people like Hafiz and Rumi, Kabir and Mirabai, would begin to make sense. As always, Thank you so much!!

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 

    14 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

    Thank you for sharing the information and the poetry. There are so many poets whose works I would like to explore, including Hafiz.

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    14 months ago from london

    Marlene, my Sweet. You are always so good to me. People will think I pay you. (chuckle) Yes. I would love that and I write for this purpose. I'm a little ahead of my time. All my gratitude for a beautiful sentiment.

    By the way, both Hafiz and Rumi are what we would call Realised souls. That is to say, they embodied God ceaselessly and consciously, 24 hrs every day. I'm still working on this. Ha ha. Peace.

    Linda L,

    Yes, his works are more soothing to many than psalms. Available on video and best with music. Listen to some of them. Thank you so much!!


    Yes. Saints and Seers are this way. After all, they say that we are all Gods! Christ was a bit different though. A lot depends on the message given to the Advocate by God Itself. Thank you so much!!

  • MarleneB profile image

    Marlene Bertrand 

    14 months ago from USA

    This is a wonderful introduction of Hafiz. I had never heard of him until now. His poems flow like water. I believe that one day, Manatita, people will be writing a piece just like this to attribute your own style of writing. You are blessed with the magic of words.

  • Carb Diva profile image

    Linda Lum 

    14 months ago from Washington State, USA

    I was not aware of this poet and am so glad that you have introduced us to his writings. Very beautiful and insightful.

  • The0NatureBoy profile image

    Elijah A Alexander Jr 

    14 months ago from Washington DC

    Thanks, Manatita, I've heard of him and read a pice or so of his works showing how love without conditions liberates us from inner turmoil we often embrace. What I found concerning it is he seldom use judgmental adjectives and expresses the truths he found through his life's education via experiences which is the only educator.

    Again, thank you for sharing such refreshing and liberating works of art.

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    14 months ago from london

    Thans Bill.


  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    14 months ago from Olympia, WA

    A nice change of pace from the norm, Bro! Very interesting fellow; thanks for the introduction, my friend.

    Peace and love, always!

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    14 months ago from london

    Thank you Jodah. Explore more. Hafiz was an amazing mystic. Look at some of his poetry on video. Awesome!

  • Jodah profile image

    John Hansen 

    14 months ago from Queensland Australia

    Thank you for introducing me to Hafez' poetry, manatita. I am both touched and inspired. His work is truly insightful.

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    14 months ago from london

    You are honest. I have analysed a few poems and both Venkatachari M and Sean Dragon (Ioannis Arvanitis) have analysed a few of my poems. Look them up. Have you seen my dedication to you? Peace.

  • Mr. Happy profile image

    Mr. Happy 

    14 months ago from Toronto, Canada

    "One’s Love should be unconditional" - Yes, indeed it should but it very often is not. I tell people that I learned about love from dogs. Dogs can teach humans about unconditional love because humans love for reasons. Once someone disagrees with You, or get upset at You, or made You make a mistake, bye-bye goes the love. Dogs are not like that. Dogs love unconditionally. I get along better with dogs than humans lol

    "Happiness lies in the ‘letting go’ " Yes, it does. Tell that to the Ego which many people protect so much. Haha!!

    See what You did here? After the verses of poetry, You put a few sentences together explaining some things. I feel like I need that all the time with poetry (unless it's Shakespere - we covered that lol): an explanatory paragraph written in prose after each poem. Ya ... that would kill poems but otherwise, for me it's like going through the jungle without a map, or even blindfolded.

    I stopped by because I have come across Mr. Hafiz's poems on different occasions. I have and had many Persian friends over the years. I even throw out some Persian sentences once in a while. I love their food and culture overall. Persian people are very nice. Now I should call my buddy Ali, I haven't talked to him in a while. Thanks for the reminder LOL

    You be well and thanks for your writing. Cheers!


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