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Hafiz: The Pearl on the Ocean Floor

Hafiz: The Pearl on the Ocean Floor
Photo: Saudi man and wife, 1914.
We have turned the face of our dawn studies toward the drunkard's road.
The harvest of our prayers we've turned toward the granary of the ecstatic soul.
The fire toward which we have turned our face is so intense
It would set fire to the straw harvest of a hundred reasonable men.
The Sultan of Pre-Eternity gave us the casket of love's grief as a gift;
Therefore we have turned our sorrow toward this dilapidated traveller's cabin that we call "the world."
From now on I will leave no doors in my heart open for love of beautiful creatures;
I have turned and set the seal of divine lips on the door of this house.
It's time to turn away from make-believe under our robes patched so many times.
The foundation for our work is an intelligence that sees through all these games.
We have turned our face to the pearl lying on the ocean floor.
So why then should we worry if this wobbly old boat keeps going or not?
We turn to the intellectuals and call them parasites of reason;
Thank God they are like true lovers faithless and without heart.
The Sufis have settled for a fantasy, and Hafez is no different.

How far out of reach our goals, and how weak our wills are!
Source and Recommended Reading:
'The Soul is Here for Its Own Joy: Sacred Poems from Many Cultures'
By Robert Bly  (Editor)
Purchase Book:

Robert Bly's ground-breaking anthology of spiritual poems, the result of over a decade of personal research, celebrates the ongoing role of the divine in literature. For as long as people have lived together in communities and built enduring cultures, they have sung and written about their relationship with the God or gods they believed in. In the words of the Irish writer Sean O'Faolain, "all good writing in the end is the writer's argument with God."
The Soul Is Here For Its Own Joy gathers poems from a wide range of cultures and traditions and divides them into ten parts, each forming a resonant exploration of a specific and timeless spiritual question. Selections include the work of Dante, Dogen, Goethe, Hafez, Juan Ramon Jimenez, Kabir, Lalla, Li Po, Mirabai, Mary Oliver, Owl Woman, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Rumi, in addition to Blake, Dickinson, Donne, Hopkins, Stevens, Yeats, and other important English and American poets. Together these poems form both a celebration and a quest--a kind of pilgrim's progress that embraces all the rich wisdom of East and West, ancient and modern, male and female, spirit and flesh.


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