A Glimpse Into the Life and Poetry of Hafez/Hafiz
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
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.
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© 2018 manatita44