Spiritual and Poetic Chicanery The most important point is that this book is NOT a book of translations of Hafez. Instead, it is a book of original poetry by Daniel Ladinsky, "inspired by" Hafez. Ladinsky has tried to justify pawning off his own work as that of Hafiz, including his own review here, in a pathetic attempt to use a loose definition of translation and that, if it gets to a lot of people and makes people happy, what's the problem? If you have any doubt about this, compare Ladinsky's work with other translations of Hafez into English. People claim, even after knowing that Ladinsky didn't actually translate these poems, that they still find the poems uplifting. Ladinsky is a bit over-the-top in his irreverence to the point of his tone actually seeming like a parody of Hafez, rather than a respectful tribute. Others have noted that the spirituality in here bears more resemblance to Zen Buddhism than Sufism, which I think has some relevance--the use of absurdity (like in "Two Giant Fat People"), the celebration of silence, seeing God in everything ("Courteous to the Ant"). Ladinsky mentions Allah (once, I think), and Muhammad a few times, but even those don't really say anything particularly interesting about Islam or Sufism, and as far as I know there aren't any references to the Quran--very different from the playful allusion to the Quran and Islamic and Zoroastrian (not referred to at all by Ladinsky) culture in the actual Hafez. And I am sad to think that people will not look for actual translations of Hafez, relying solely on Ladinsky's inventions, which are more accessible but not the same at all.
( Daniel) It Felt Love How Did the rose Ever open its heart And give this world All its Beauty?
As i prepared to, & traveled as much of Iran as i was allowed by the nation system (that, really, is only relevant to Iran and maybe Egypt, as few places have approximated the same borders, language and culture for millennia) i was introduced to the magic of Hafez. When a question comes up - ask Hafez!
1320 1389) will delight readers of any faith looking for humor and to explore his view of the world or more accurately- of his God. The poems most recurring themes include love, tolerance, fanaticism, forgiveness and God. Most of the poems speak of love and rather unorthodox metaphors for God abound throughout his verses. Many poems also criticize fanaticism and, as a result of his emphasis on belief in a single God, Hafiz blurs the lines between different faiths as well as genders.
How can it be that Ladinsky's translation captures such a feel of contemporaneity?
30 poems of the real thing.
He's funny, daring at times, and never failed to make me feel peaceful when reading his wise words. Hafiz is funny, daring, and makes me feel happy when I read him. Because Hafiz was a Sufi master, all of his poems are about God in one way or another. It is because Hafiz's poems are so full of love that I couldn't help but feel happy when reading them. Hafiz is one of those poets where you can open to any page and read a poem and like what you have read and even feel like it was speaking directly to you at that particular time. In fact, many people use Hafiz as a sort of I Ching, opening up his poems to a random page for an answer to what ails them. O, I don't care about your thoughts Or what you have ever done, Just open up this book whenever you are Sad For I love the way you Smile!
His life and poems have been the subject of much analysis, commentary and interpretation, influencing post-14th century Persian writing more than any other author Themes of his ghazals are the beloved, faith, and exposing hypocrisy. In this period, Hafez and other notable early satirists, such as Ubayd Zakani, produced a body of work that has since become a template for the use of satire as a political device.