Hello everyone, how are you?
First of all, let me thank you for your warm messages during past week. I am happy that you liked lesson 121. I am also happy that you have such a willing heart to help others. May the One bless you all. Amen.
Today, we are traveling to some 800 years ago!! We are going to old Persia to see an old lover. Guess who? Correct! We are spending some time with Hafez today. This poem is a response to several friends who loved to hear more about Hafez and his poems. So, here it is!
I have chosen a very famous poem. Although comparing to many other poems written by Hafez, this is not what we can call ‘A level’, it is deep, lovely and famous (at least among the Iranians). I can say more than 95 percent of the Iranians know at least several words of this poem, especially the first two lines. Why? I don’t know!! It should have its own reasons! You judge it by yourself!
This poem although old in date, is always fresh in meaning. Most of his poems have this feature. That’s why Hafez has remained great in our history. He was centuries ahead of his time. The more you read his original work, the more new things you learn, and the more you love him. Some works never expire! If Hafez’s poems were in English, or if Persian were the international language as English is today, for sure Hafez would be somewhere at the highest peak of world’s literature.
In this poem, I have not remained loyal to the original text. That is to say, I am not presenting a word for word translation here. I thought I could convey his message more accurately if I got rid of word for word translation. So, I have sacrificed words for meaning.
The English translation is far from the beauty of the original work. To enjoy Hafez and Persian poetry, you must be able to read the original works. In the meantime, I deeply wish I had an advanced Persian class where I could teach only Hafez for years! Please pray for me to get such a class.
What you need to do today is sit back and go through the translation first. After you feel comfortable with the translation, you may go to Useful Drills page for the original text, its English phonetic writings, and the sound file. I hope you will enjoy this lesson.
See you all next week. Khoda Hafez for now!
Preachers By: Hafez
Preachers who look glorious on stages and on heights,
When alone, (they) do something different!
I have a problem, ask the most knowledgeable person in the community,
Why those who preach for repentance repent less?
They seem not to believe in the Day of Judgment
That’s why they change the Words, they misinterpret God’s work.
Dear God, place such notorious wealthy devils on their true lowly position,
And let them not boast about what they’ve gained from people.
Dear love seekers, wake up and seek the Temple of Love,
Because there alone, you’ll find the wine that puts your spirit on high
His endless love, even if it puts lovers on fire,
Gives you new face in love, revealed from the heaven
Worship o lovers, at the Tavern of Love,
Because there alone, you’ll find the water that transforms your soul
At dawn, a voice was heard from the heaven above,
Wisdom said, “It seems saints and angels are practicing the words of Hafez!”