When I began these posts from The Gift in March of 2022, it never crossed my mind to do research on Hafiz or Daniel Ladinsky. I did not inquire or look into any of the back story or meditate upon what brings the relevance of this poet and Sufi master into the twenty first century. I was totally led to The Gift by instinct and intuition. It was as if the message in my mind said, "It is time for this now. Go". In some ways I'm very easily led. This is true all of my life. There are certain things received a certain way that I never question. I will take the ongoing debate in my head regarding the value of this way of living to my grave.
Intermittently, however, I have stopped and wondered, what the heck is Hafiz' story? and I would do a little research through Wikipedia knowing that there are scholars out there who have devoted their entire lives to studying and translating Hafiz' words and straining for accuracy. I am clearly diddling upon the surface of things. My blogposts must be a pox to them. I wrote posts for months before I even bothered to look up Daniel Ladinsky who translated this rendition of these poems. The dynamics of how these poems came to be initially did not matter to me. What mattered was how the words delivered a vibratory resonance within me. As I explained in the addendum, it seemed obvious to me that this translation of a Persian's words from the 1300's was not verbatim. I mean, really! It seems absurd that anyone would even think so. I can understand, however, how people can become insulted by passing these translations as what Hafiz actually said. As an uneducated person hammering out content from rudimentary tools in this century, I arrive unseasoned, guided by voices and a certain taste for madness - academically worthless. I then decide I'm going to chat up the internet with this. Well, such are the times.
I'm not so sure that the spirit of Hafiz is not present within some of these things that are translated and that I write - not all, of course - but the trajectory of the love is centered in sincerity and I don't feel that that is lost in Ladinsky's interpretations or my using them as writing prompts. These words both in the 1300's and now, are all just words that struggle to reach beyond time and space to teach what we have available to understand of love and spiritual guidance.
This short poem I read here aloud of Hafiz' can be made shorter still by me:
What's not to love?
Thank you for listening.
Music: I found this video, Entekhab (The Choice) by Shadmehr Aghili while I was noodling around researching Hafiz' life. It is a song about unrequited love but what drew me to this video was the song title and the rich use of the symbolism; especially the use of the symbol of the key. My having a choice in life is my love language and to me the key represents the asteroid Chiron and the energetics of a persons life work in better understanding the who, what, and why of our existence. It is a beautiful song and video. Enjoy.
The original post in this series of poems by Hafiz (including an addendum regarding the authenticity of these poems) can be found here.
The Gift: Poems by Hafiz and translated by Daniel Ladinsky can be purchased here.