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July 24 , 2008

The Garden of Heaven


Hafiz has no peer." — Goethe. Poetry is the greatest literary form of ancient Persia and modern Iran, and the 14th-century poet known as Hafiz is its preeminent master. This collection is derived from Hafiz's Divan (collected poems), a classic of Sufism. The short poems, called ghazals, are sonnet-like arrangements of varied numbers of couplets. In the tradition of Persian poetry and Sufi philosophy, each poem corresponds to two interpretations, sensual and mystic. This 19th-century translation by historian Gertrude Bell remains widely acclaimed by scholars and readers.

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