Hafiz is renowned as one of the most celebrated Persian poets. Living in the 14th Century, Hafiz was frequently persecuted for his disregard for the religious and political orthodoxy. People read different things into his poetry but he was unequivocal in his denunciation of religious rituals that were devoid of spiritual intensity. He also wrote extensively on the theme of love, both human and divine, alluding to the ecstasy of mystical union with the Divine. In depicting the intensity of love, Gertrude Bell thought Hafiz comparable to the West’s own Shakespeare. Gertrude Bell’s translation is considered to be one of the most lucid, musical and accurate of the verse translations.
Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell, CBE (14 July 1868 – 12 July 1926) was an English writer, traveller, political officer, administrator, archaeologist and spy who explored, mapped, and became highly influential to British imperial policy-making due to her skill and contacts, built up through extensive travels in Greater Syria,…
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