My favorite poem, recited to the Sivananda Ashramites, Kerala, India, May 2010.
Leave the familiar for a while.
Let your senses and bodies stretch out
Like a welcomed season
Onto the meadows and shores and hills.
Open up to the Roof.
Make a new watermark on your excitement
Like a blooming night flower,
Bestow your vital fragrance of happiness
Upon our intimate assembly.
Change rooms in your mind for a day.
All the hemispheres in existence
Lie beside an equator
In your heart.
In your thousand other forms
As you mount the hidden tide and travel
All the hemispheres in heaven
Are sitting around a fire
While stitching themselves together
Into the Great Circle inside of
Hafiz is considered one of the greatest lyrical poets of all time. He never actually wrote down his poetry, but only spoke it out loud or sang it when in the mood. Some of the most respected Hafiz scholars feel that the first complete manuscript of his poems wasn’t even compiled until many years ofter his passing.
Persian poets of Hafiz’s era would often address themselves in their poems as if carrying on a conversation – giving the poems feelings of intimacy and playfulness. Sometimes Hafiz speaks from the point of view of a seeker, sometimes from the point of view of a realized Master and guide. His experience on the path from student to enlightened teacher is reflected in these beautiful poems … (text courtesy Daniel Ladinsky, translator of Hafiz’s “The Subject Tonight is Love” – slightly modified)
“A poet is someone who can pour light into a cup, then raise it to nourish your beautiful parched, holy mouth.” Funny, Hafiz’s definition of a poet so closely resembles my definition of a friend.