Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Ḥāfeẓ Shīrāzī ~ What the Hell


Real love
I always keep a secret.
All my words
Are sung outside Her window,
For when She lets me in
I take a thousand oaths of silence.
Then She says,
O, then God says,
“What the hell, Hafiz,
Why not give the whole world
My address.”



Sunday, May 15, 2022

Gary Freeland ~ In our end is our beginning



 In the bulb…there is a flower,
In the seed………an apple tree,
In cocoons….a hidden promise,
Butterflies will soon be free.

In the cold and snow of winter,
There’s a spring that waits to be,
From the past will comes the future;
What it holds a mystery,

In our end is our beginning;
In our time, infinity.
In our doubt, there is believing,
In our life eternity.

There’s a song in every silence,
Seeking word and melody;
There’s a dawn in every darkness,
Bringing hope to you and me.

In our death, a resurrection,
at last a victory
Unrevealed until its season,
something yet un-know
Which God alone can see!" 



Ḥāfeẓ Shīrāzī ~ The cupbearer


 Cupbearer, it is morning, fill my cup with wine.
Make haste, the heavenly sphere knows no delay.
Before this transient world is ruined and destroyed,
ruin me with a beaker of rose-tinted wine.
The sun of the wine dawns in the east of the goblet.
Pursue life’s pleasure, abandon dreams,
and the day when the wheel makes pitchers of my clay,
take care to fill my skull with wine!
We are not men for piety, penance and preaching
but rather give us a sermon in praise of a cup of clear wine.
Wine-worship is a noble task, O Hafiz;
rise and advance firmly to your noble task.


 English version by Bernard Lewis


 The meanings attributed to wine in Persian poetry can be traced to their connection with the Sufi mystics. In Sufi literature, wine symbolized a union with divine love and knowledge through direct personal experience with God.