A Note on Hafez

Khaajeh Hafez Shirazi of 14th century is one of the most celebrated Iranian poets. Though he was an Islamic mystic (a sufi) and could reportedly recite the entire Quran by heart, his love poems are musical, lyrical and timeless.

His collection of poems which are primarily of the form “ghazals” (“Divaan’e Hafez”) is a significant body of Persian literary work and is probably one of the most popular books of all times among Iranians all around the world. Every Persian household is bound to have a few copies of it and it is definitely read much more widely than Quran.

One of my favorite verses from the first ghazal of Hafez which opens with (sparing you of the Arabic verse):

Ke eshgh aasaan nomood avval vali oftaad moshkel-haa

Shab’e taareek o beem’e moj o gerdaabi chenin haael
Kojaa daanand haal e maa sabok-baar-aan’e saahel-haa

And here is a lesser known 2-beiti from Hafez in the style of the great Omar Khayyam:

Gar hamcho man oftaadeye in daam shavi
Ey bas ke kharaab baade o jaam shavi

Maa aashegh o mast o rend o aalam soozim
Baa maa maneshin agar na badnaam shavi