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Hafiz: Preachers who display their piety in prayer and pulpit

Hafiz: Preachers who display their piety in prayer and pulpit

Photo: Iron transenna, once in place around Hafiz's tomb. Late 19th or early 20th cent.



​Preachers who display their piety in prayer and pulpit 
behave differently when they’re alone.

It puzzles me. Ask the learned ones of the assembly:
“Who do those who demand repentance do so little of it?”

It’s as if they don’t believe in the Day of Judgment 
with all this fraud and counterfeit they do in His name.

I am the slave of the tavern-master, whose dervishes,
in needing nothing, make treasure seem like dust.

O lord, put these nouveaux-riches back on their asses 
because they flaunt their mules and Turkish slaves.

O angel, say praises at the door of love’s tavern, 
for inside they ferment the essence of Adam.

Whenever his limitless beauty kills a lover
others spring up, with love, from the invisible world.

O beggar at the cloister door, come to the monastery of the Magi, 
for the water they give makes hearts rich.

Empty your house, O heart, so that it may become home to the beloved, 
for the heart of the shallow ones is an army camp.

At dawn a clamor came from the throne of heaven. Reason said: 
“It seems the angels are memorizing Hafiz’s verse.”





Quote Source and Recommended Reading:

'The Green Sea of Heaven: Fifty Ghazals from the Diwan of Hafiz'
By Elizabeth T. Gray (Author), Daryush Shayegan (Introduction)

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Hafiz is the preeminent poet of Persian Sufism and one of the great poets of world literature. The Green Sea of Heaven is regarded as the finest English translation of his poetry. Elizabeth Gray’s translations are informed by her thorough knowledge of Persian and the Persian poetic tradition. (Many recent books attributed to Hafiz have been produced by persons who do not know Persian at all!) This bilingual edition also includes two brilliant studies of Hafiz by Gray and Daryush Shayegan, plus helpful notes to the translation.
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