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The Subject Tonight Is Love: Sixty Wild and Sweet Poems of Hafiz
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The Subject Tonight Is Love: Sixty Wild and Sweet Poems of Hafiz

4.52 of 5 stars 4.52  ·  rating details  ·  592 ratings  ·  57 reviews
To Persians, the fourteenth-century poems of Hafiz are not classical literature from a remote past, but cherished love, wisdom, and humor from a dear and intimate friend. Perhaps, more than any other Persian poet, it is Hafiz who most fully accesses the mystical, healing dimensions of poetry. Daniel Ladinsky has made it his life's work to create modern, inspired translatio ...more
Kindle Edition, 92 pages
Published (first published 1996)
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THIS BOOK IS A CON! It is not written by Hafiz, and the twerp who wrote it - Daniel Ladinsky - should have his writing hand cut off for identity theft. He is billed as translator but claims to "interpret" Hafiz. In fact, many of the poems are originals and not translations or interpretations (which explains why they are so terrible).

If this jerk Ladinsky had a single moral fiber in his body, he would confess that he is a fake and a phony. He has, in fact, stolen Hafiz's good name and used it for
cras culture
For someone who has read quite a bit of 'foreign language' poetry translated into english, i must admit that i don't know a ton about the art of translation and how it affects the outcome of what works i am reading. Still, I must say that while these translations often flirted with being even a bit too gritty and robust, often they shone with a diamond-clarity.
As for the poems themselves, I must say i am a bit at odds with the whole god-thing, being an agnostic at best. Yet i could often relat
Miroku Nemeth
No one can keep us from carrying God
Wherever we go.

No one can rob His Name
From our heart as we try to relinquish our fears
And at last stand -- Victorious.

We do not have to leave him in the mosque
Or church alone at night;

We do not have to be jealous of tales of saints
Or glorious masts, those intoxicated souls
Who can make outrageous love with the Friend.

We do not have to be envious of our spirits’ ability
Which can sometimes touch God in a dream.

Our yearning eyes, our warm-needing bodies,
Can all be
Comparisons to Rumi are obvious though I find Hafiz to be less subtle and less mystical. And although I absoultely love Rumi and would pick him over Hafiz if I had to, some of the poems in this collection are truly amazing and I look forward to reading more Hafiz in the future.
Shokufeh شکوفه  Kavani کاوانی
Really dear Hafez, that is what we are all missing in today's sad world.
Dec 23, 2007 Cecily rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any lover of poetry and/or life...or those seeking such things
Hafiz is the man, by the way. He was a fourteenth-century poet who spouts the most profound spiritual poetry I've ever come across. Perfect for taking walks in the woods and hollering his poems out to the trees at the top of your lungs (I do highly recommend doing this at least once before you die). Also appropriate to be lying around in a doctor's office, nursing home, or any other space where the joy of life is needing to be remembered. A must-have.
Sayeeda Carter
Hafiz is the sweetest poet I have ever come across. Reading his work especially that translated by Daniel Ladinsky is as beneficial as prayer or going to church.
Ladinsky breathes fire into Hafez' poems. " The gauge of a great love-poem is the size of the love-bruise it can weave into your soul..."
Hafiz's poetry is a good touchstone that helps me remember almost everything that needs remembering.
Jan 24, 2009 Dave is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, spiritual
ecstatic poems to God!
According to the back of the book, Hafiz is "the most treasured poet of Persia" and wrote during the fourteenth century. The poems are sweet and uplifting. I'm not used to religious poetry, which is what this is. In many ways, actually, Hafiz's style reminded me of the Song of Solomon in the Bible. One poem in particular stuck out to me because of its imagery, "A Potted Plant." It goes:

I pull a sun from my coin purse each day.

And at night I let my pet the moon
Run freely into the sky meadow.

If I
This book is a quick read, but contains so much beautiful imagery. Also, even though it is Islamic mysticism, there is a great deal that a Christian should find challenging. For example, this quote: "If you have not been taking your medicine lately by saying your prayers every day, how can Hafiz seriously listen to all your heartaches about life or God?" Or this: "Don't surrender your loneliness so quickly. Let it cut more deep.... Something missing in my heart tonight has made ... my need of Go ...more
Shelley Weaver
A highly readable and applicable translation of the Sufi great. Ladinsky lassoes the enchanting, playful essence of Hafiz and introduces him to a wider, non-Farsi speaking audience. If you're a lover of Rumi - give Hafiz a try. Hafiz is like Rumi's drunken, fun little brother.
Chris Heaney
Sep 09, 2007 Chris Heaney rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people with souls
It's very spiritual, but it's also very earthy. Tremendous. It also has a lot of poems that are all about being an art-star -- think Talib Kweli as a 13th century(?) Sufi mystic. One of my favorites:

It's tremendous:

"That Sounds Wonderful"

Good poetry
Makes a beautiful naked woman
Materialize from

Who then says
With a sword precariously waving
In her hands,

"If you look at my loins
I will cut off your head,

And reach down and grab your spirit
By its private parts,

And carry you off to heaven
I love Hafiz and I'm a fan of Ladinsky's translations, but although this collection is good, it's not the best work.
Janice Raquela
Simple yet elegant texts after Rumi Hafiz is my second favorite Sufi Poet
There are many finer renditions even by Landinsky himself
Freja Friborg
so beautiful, clear and full of life, joy and light!
Ma dil esteh etur shekisthan, ma shumara chi beguman..
I have dire suspicions about Daniel Ladinsky and his "translations," particularly given that he lists no scholarly (or even lingual) qualifications at all. If walking in the desert and being inspired qualified you to translate from the Persian, Hunter S. Thompson would've had a hell of a different career. This was my first attempt at Hafiz, and sadly I'll have to withhold judgment on the poet as I'm honestly not sure how much of his work is actually included in this book, and how much is simply ...more
Ben Gold
Oct 20, 2009 Ben Gold rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: poets, atheists, deists, anti-poets, Irish Shepards, German Sitters.

Emphasis on absurd. Love as it was meant to be; poetry before the children died and set an iron and cement monument to mark the ground.

But that's too chippy. It's blushing red cheeks, it's love without transgression. Required reading for anyone fed the hell up with contemporary religion.

They need some word for sexy-spiritual-fun. There's no word for that in English; pity.

Look it's light and lovely and I highly recommend it, okay?
I don't have enough familiarity with Persian poetry in general or Hafiz in particular to comment too strongly, but I got the sense that some of the translations had been rather freely interpreted. Nice, nonetheless, and I did enjoy it--but I think I will seek out other translations at some point to get a better sense of what's actually Hafiz and what is just the translation.
This book is an excellent set of poems translated from the Persian. Hafiz was a mystic and poet in the 14th Century, yet one of the most modern-sounding and wonderful of all poets. This book is comfort and also, pretty funny.

I seem to have misplaced it as of 12-2013, but I am sure I will find it again. And be happy.
I started reading this book because it's lightweight and therefore good for the commute - easier on the back. But I enjoyed the breath of fresh air that I got from settling down to read even just one poem for five minutes. Hafiz reminds me a little of Frank O'Hara in a kind of strangely arrogant (talking to the sun/god) yet endearing way.
Nov 12, 2013 Yvonne rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Yvonne by: The Sun
Daniel Ladinsky interview article in The Sun, October 2013, made me think Mr. Ladinsky would be a lively and lovely translator-interpreter of the poetry of Hafiz, whom I do not know. I was not engaged by his work, I was even put off by these renditions of the poet. I don't know to what or whom I should attribute my reactions.
Shannon Skaff
While I don't consider myself a poetry fan per se, Hafiz and could tempt me to change my mind. The way that words, when deftly and creatively and joyously woven, can thrill the heart and mind - like art... or nature... or beauty - is sublime. Also highly recommend "LOVE POEMS FROM GOD" by the same author/translator (Ladinsky.)
Jun 25, 2007 Crystal rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
In this book I found the poem that I wanted to read to Justin at our Quaker-style wedding. It was titled "I Cherish Your Ears." Sometime later I found out that it is considered THE wedding poem for many people in the Middle East and Asia. How funny that I should choose that particular one! :)
Beautiful collection of Persian Sufi poetry by Hafiz. I don't know enough about the Sufi tradition to truly understand how these poems fit within it, but I really enjoyed the poetry and found it very touching and beautiful.
Elizabeth Olson
Daniel Ladinsky's inspired translation of Hafiz's 14th century Persian poetry is magical blend of modern and ancient imagery that brings the ecstatic, mystical joy of these poems to life for today's Western reader.
Very fun translation! A book to stone you. I'll put it next to Milarepa on my shelves: they seem to be so exactly opposite in their bellowing that they just have to be modes of the same attribute.
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See also

Khwāja Šams ud-Dīn Muhammad Hāfez-e Šīrāzī, or simply Hāfez (Persian: خواجه شمس‌الدین محمد حافظ شیرازی), was a Persian mystic and poet. He was born sometime between the years 1310 and 1337. John Payne, who has translated the Diwan Hafez, regards Hafez as one of the three greatest poets of the world. His lyrical poems, known as ghazals, are noted for their beauty and bring to fruition
More about حافظ...
The Divan The Gift حافظ به سعی سایه دیوان حافظ شیرازی از نسخه محمد قزوینی و قاسم غنی دیوان حافظ بخط میرعماد / The Poems Hafiz Written By The Calligrapher Mir Emad 1600 AD

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“For a day, just for one day,
Talk about that which disturbs no one
And bring some peace into your
Beautiful eyes.”
“For I have learned that every heart will get
What it prays for
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