Faal-e Hafez.


Photo: at the tomb of Hafez, the greatest Persian poet, in Shiraz.


First, I walked around the tomb seven times, and noticed that my breathing had become as slow and soft as if I were sleeping.

Then I ascended the stairs and touched my fingers to the tomb, as I’d seen Iranians do.

Then I sat down with my back to one of the pillars, asked a question in my mind, and opened The Divan of Hafez to a random page.

The question, I’ll keep to myself. But this was the answer:

Whoever holds a cup in hand
forever will rule over the land.
The Water of Life that Elias found
seek in the tavern where the cups stand.
The essence of soul, submit to the cup;
rules of the cup are in command.
We and the wine, pious and virtue—
let’s see which ones He will demand.
It is but a word from His lips
for he who has wished and planned.
Narcissus’s ways of drunkenness
were borrowed from His eye’s gland.
My heart pictures Your face and hair;
this prayer my day and night spanned.
It is the pain in the heart
who Your sweet lips understand.
Your features, Your goodness, O soul,
like HAFIZ, two hundred slaves command.

(Translated by Shahriar Shahriari.)


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2 Comments on “Faal-e Hafez.”

  1. saeed says:

    In persian:
    آن کس که به دست جام دارد سلطانی جم مدام دارد
    آبی که خضر حیات از او یافت در میکده جو که جام دارد
    سررشته جان به جام بگذار کاین رشته از او نظام دارد
    ما و می و زاهدان و تقوا تا یار سر کدام دارد
    بیرون ز لب تو ساقیا نیست در دور کسی که کام دارد
    نرگس همه شیوه‌های مستی از چشم خوشت به وام دارد
    ذکر رخ و زلف تو دلم را وردیست که صبح و شام دارد
    بر سینه ریش دردمندان لعلت نمکی تمام دارد
    در چاه ذقن چو حافظ ای جان حسن تو دو صد غلام دارد

  2. The pronouns “He” and “His” are, most probably be “she” and “her.” And you could still have the Divine interpretation of them if you will. I know. The problem is with the non-sexist (to my surprise!) pronouns of Farsi.

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