Good morning, Hubski! Today's Monday, and Mondays suck. So I thought I'd start a new tag, weekly Hafiz, to share some awesome poetry to make your Mondays suck less. I'll be sharing some of my favorite poems from Daniel Ladinsky's translation of Hafiz's The Gift (which I've mentioned before here) every week. I highly recommend you pick up the book for yourself, it really is fantastic poetry.

But on to the week's Hafiz!

We Have Not Come to Take Prisoners

  We have not come here to take prisoners

  But to surrender ever more deeply

  To freedom and joy.

  We have not come into this exquisite world

  To hold ourselves hostage from love.

  Run my dear,

  From anything

  That may not strengthen

  Your precious budding wings.

  Run like hell my dear,

  From anyone likely

  To put a sharp knife

  Into the sacred, tender vision

  Of your beautiful heart.

  We have a duty to befriend

  Those aspects of obedience

  That stand outside of our house

  And shout to our reason

  "O please, O please,

  Come out and play."

  For we have not come here to take prisoners

  Or to confine our wondrous spirits.

  But to experience ever and ever more deeply

  Our divine courage, freedom, and



Wow, what a coincidence. I've just randomly checked Hubski today and I see this. In the past month I've been really interested in Persian and Hebrew poets from this era after buying a small book of translations of Yehuda Halevi. Practically every poem has been deeply moving and very well written, so it might be worth checking him out if you haven't already.

As I say I've taken a real interest in these poets. Last week I was looking through a book by a British Orientalist called Ouseley on Persian poetry and grammar. The Introduction had some interesting comments on Persian poets, but the rest of the book was on the language itself, which I know nothing of. Nonetheless, I did see a reference in that book to this: . This is dedicated to Ouseley and contains early translation efforts of Hafiz's poetry. Maybe some translations appear in both editions and it would be of some interest to you.

Definitely good stuff. Do you know any other English translations of poets from this place and time period?

posted by galen: 1631 days ago