I know the way you can getWhen you have not had a drink of Love:Your face hardens,Your sweet muscles cramp.Children become concernedAbout a strange look that appears in your eyesWhich even begins to worry your own mirrorAnd nose.Squirrels and birds sense your sadnessAnd call an important conference in a tall tree.They decide which secret code to chantTo help your mind and soul.Even angels fear that brand of madnessThat arrays itself against the worldAnd throws sharp stones and spears intoThe innocentAnd into one’s self.O I know the way you can getIf you have not been drinking Love:You might rip apartEvery sentence your friends and teachers say,Looking for hidden clauses.You might weigh every word on a scaleLike a dead fish.You might pull out a ruler to measureFrom every angle in your darknessThe beautiful dimensions of a heart you onceTrusted.I know the way you can getIf you have not had a drink from Love’sHands.That is why all the Great Ones speak ofThe vital needTo keep remembering God,So you will come to know and see HimAs being so PlayfulAnd Wanting,Just Wanting to help.That is why Hafiz says:Bring your cup near me.For all I care aboutIs quenching your thirst for freedom!All a Sane man can ever care aboutIs giving Love!
From: I Heard God Laughing – Renderings of Hafiz
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky
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Persian lyric poet & mystic Hafiz (born Khwāja Šamsu d-Dīn Muḥammad Hāfez-e Šīrāzī) grew up in Shiraz (1320 to 1389). Very little is known about his life, but it is thought that he may have memorized the Qur’an after hearing his father recite passages. When his father died, he left school to work at a bakery and as a copyist. Hafiz became a poet at the court of Abu Ishak and also taught at a religious college. He is one of the most celebrated of the Persian poets, and his influence can be felt to this day. As the author of numerous ghazals expressing love, spirituality, and protest, he and his work continue to be important to Iranians, and many of his poems are used as proverbs or sayings.the homes of people in the Persian speaking world, who learn his poems by heart and still use them as proverbs and sayings.