I have just ordered two books by the Persian lyric poet Hafiz as translated by Daniel Ladinsky. I plan to read them aloud to my field of stinging nettles in the hope that his beautiful, whimsical words will cause all their fine hairs to take flight to the moon and leave me alone. Obviously I could probably have spent my money on wiser things such as bills or fresh oranges but sometimes you just have to feed the soul.I only discovered Hafiz yesterday but the little bits I have read so far resonate within me both as the person I am and where I live right now. Take the following poem by way of example.
The fish needs to say,
"Something ain't right about this
Camel ride -
Feeling so damn
I love this. I love this. I love this.
And I feel so very thirsty too.
Or how about this one.
The Happy Virus.
I caught the happy virus last night
When I was out singing beneath the stars.
It is remarkably contagious -
So kiss me.
Or perhaps the sublimely beautiful - Sweet, Crushed Angel
Trying to hold hands with the Beautiful One.
You have waltzed with great style,
My sweet, crushed angel,
To have ever neared God's heart at all.
Our Partner is notoriously difficult to follow,
And even His best musicians are not always easy
So what if the music has stopped for a while.
If the price of admission to the Divine
Is out of reach tonight.
So what, my dear,
If you do not have the ante to gamble for Real Love.
The mind and the body are famous
For holding the heart ransom,
But Hafiz knows the Beloved's eternal habits.
For He will not be able to resist your longing
You have not danced so badly, my dear,
Trying to kiss the Beautiful One.
You have actually waltzed with tremendous style,
O my sweet,
O my sweet crushed angel.
I think Hafiz and I could have been lovers. He would have definitely enjoyed my dreams about flag-dancing polar bears and shaggy-headed snakes.