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I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy
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I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy

4.53  ·  Rating Details ·  960 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
From the renowned translator of The Gift, a rich collection that brings the great Sufi poet to Western readers

To Persians , the poems of Hafiz are not "classical literature" from a remote past but cherished wisdom from a dear and intimate friend that continue to be quoted in daily life. With uncanny insight, Hafiz captures the many forms and stages of love. His poetry ou
Paperback, 93 pages
Published September 26th 2006 by Penguin Books (first published August 1996)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,351)
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Ahmad Sharabiani
I Heard God Laughing: Renderings of Hafiz, Daniel Ladinsky, Henry S. Mindlin, H. Wilberforce Clarke
Cynthia Egbert
Jul 28, 2016 Cynthia Egbert rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-and-read
The Sufist poet Hafiz is one of my favorite and I turn to him time and time again for strength and to tap into the joy I feel in my testimony of God. In the past, I had read the translations done by Emerson. But my good friend Brad encouraged me to read Ladinsky's translation and I am eternally grateful...

Here is just a taste...

"To show this dear world that everything in existence does point to God."

"I am happy even before I have a reason."

"All I know is Love, and I find my heart Infinite and Ev
Oct 12, 2010 Andrea rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This book of poetry is a must for both those who love poetry and those who are simply spiritual. This is a book to pull off the shelf when you are in need of inspiration or seeking spiritual guidance.

"I wish I could show you,
When you are lonely or in darkness,
The Astonishing Light
Of your own Being!" Hafiz
Jun 01, 2013 Chanti rated it really liked it
Shelves: lotus, poetry
4.5/5. So rich and generous, full of prayer and gratitude and wondrous joy. So many lovely poems in here... imagery of the sky's soft skirt and swollen balls of a divine rogue elephant somehow find themselves in the same passages and I cannot help but laugh at the playful absurdity. I love the mischief, the intoxication of it all.

"Look at the smile on the earth's lips this morning, she laid again with me last night."
"Once God made love to a great saint
Who had a hairy belly.

O my dear, of cours
Black Elephants
Mar 16, 2013 Black Elephants rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
An effortless dive into Hafiz. (Although some of the translation choices made me wonder... Why capitalize some and not other words?)

"Someone Should Start Laughing"

I have a thousand brilliant lies
For the question:
How are you?

I have a thousand brilliant lies
For the question:
What is God?

If you think that the Truth can be known
From words,

If you think that the Sun and the Ocean

Can pass through that tiny opening
Called the mouth,

O Someone should start laughing!

Someone should start wildly Laughing—Now!
Apr 26, 2016 Margie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion, poetry
Such absolute joy in these poems. I've appreciated the Sufi focus on love, but had not yet appreciated the joy which is so central to these poems. Impossible to read without feeling good afterwards.
Jan 05, 2008 Aimee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, favorites
As much as I appreciate poetry, few poets have moved me as much as Hafiz, a 14th century Sufi master who is beloved by Iranians (and others) to this day. Ladinsky did a fabulous job of translating this work, which was no small task. The Persian language apparently (I do not speak Farsi, but a friend of mine does)is full of words that have shades of different meanings. There are whole poems by Hafiz in which each word could mean something different. Hafiz' poems are ghazals, poetry that has a par ...more
Jul 03, 2012 Christine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011-reads
I read these poems out loud to myself and to a friend, because they demanded vocalization. It was like having a conversation with a joyous man who talks with God the way he talks with me, like he really knows God and laughs with him frequently. A great book of poems about loving God, yourself and life.
Tuscany Bernier
Jan 16, 2016 Tuscany Bernier rated it it was amazing
Love Hafiz! His poems are excellent and this translator really does them justice. I also appreciated the note at the beginning noting the difference between Persian and English poetry and why that would affect my understanding as I read them. :D I would recommend to anybody!
Feb 09, 2015 Sunny rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Very short book on some of the short poems of Hafiz. I admit that I didn’t fully understand lots of them but every now and then he would say something like this and all would fall in to place:

“Oh wondrous creatures

By what strange miracles

Do you so often

... Not smile”
Feb 12, 2008 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful ,rich ,and true.
Robert Sheppard


The "Islamic Golden Age" was an historical period b
Sep 02, 2015 Dominique rated it it was amazing
Hafiz's poems delight, entrance, take you on a journey through places and feelings that are familiar, in the most beautiful light. He brings divinity to your encounter with "everyday" experiences, and all forms of life. A leaf is more than a leaf, a dog's bark is more than a dog's bark, the sunlight is more than sunlight. They are the sights and sounds of God, of the highest form and most beautiful form of love.

Hafiz's tone is playful, warm, special ... Unlike anything I've read.
He is my favorit
May 09, 2015 Maggie rated it it was amazing
an excellent book of poetry and of theology which served to give voice to what i intuit about my faith and to strengthen that already voiced understanding of my faith. a book that i will reread many times, esp. at night before sleep when i most need to come off of the day's activities and allow myself to be folded into the arms of a most loving god. hafiz's words capture the essence of my love for god. i am grateful.
May 23, 2014 Starbubbles rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
Some of the poems were amazing, while others not to much. The translation was not my favorite, and took away from their impact. The modern imagery was at times jarring and took away from the feel of the selected poem. I am interested in reading other poems from Hafez, and this book did a descent job introducing the subject.
Aygul A.
Apr 15, 2014 Aygul A. rated it it was amazing
You don’t have to act crazy anymore—
We all know you were good at that,

Now retire, my dear,
From all that hard work you do

Of bringing pain to your sweet eyes and heart.

Look in a clear mountain mirror
See the beautiful ancient warrior
And the divine elements
You always carry inside

That infused this universe with sacred life
So long ago
John Hawkins
Apr 08, 2016 John Hawkins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Oh Wondrous Creatures
By What Strange Miracle Is It
You So Often
Do Not Smile?"
This book of Hafiz' poetry is precious. Daniel Ladinsky, the translator, reminds us that the Divine is so in love with each of us.
Ellen Johnson
Jan 25, 2016 Ellen Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
sometimes, Currently Reading, Read, and Want to Read all come together. One of my favorite books that I turn to often, just wanted to be sure it is listed on here. Thank you, Daniel Ladinsky.
Sushil Saini
Mar 14, 2015 Sushil Saini rated it it was amazing
My favourite collection which I have given as a gift at least half a dozen times. This is a book to keep around the house. Pick it up any time and find something deep, meaningful, funny, and wise.
Mar 28, 2016 Jen rated it really liked it
O keep squeezing drops of the Sun
From your prayers and work and music
And from your companions' beautiful laughter
And from the most insignificant movements
Of your own holy body.
David E.P.
Jul 11, 2008 David E.P. rated it it was amazing
Recommended to David by: Amy Johnson
Hafiz touches absolute Light in the poems in this book! I remember getting this book from a girl named Amy Johnson at a random Starbucks...We both were there for a reason - we just didn't exactly know why...but that soon changed, as we ended up having a 2 hour intensely philosophical conversation about raising consciousness levels in ourselves and others.


Needless to say, after I left the coffee shop, I walked over 12 miles and read the entire book in one reading! I stopped a few times during m
Aug 10, 2015 Amber rated it really liked it
A good collection for quiet reflection. I was refreshed by imagery that was rural and succinct. Gives an angle on God that is outside my own faith tradition, but is accessible and rich
Babar Iqbal

The Sun Won a beauty contest and became a jewel

Set upon God's right hand.

The Earth agreed to be a toe ring on theBeloved's foot
And has never regretted its decision.

The mountains got tired Of sitting amongst a sleeping audience

And are now stretching their armsToward the Roof.

The clouds gave my soul an idea

So I pawned my gillsAnd rose like a winged diamond
Ever trying to be near More love, more love Like you

.The Mountain got tired of sitting

Amongst a snoring crowd insi
I love this book. I would liken it to Tagore or Whitman, though I'm sure there are mountains of meaning I can't even peek at for my inexperience.
Jun 23, 2015 Melissa.e rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, poetry
"...I wish I could show you
When you are lonely or in darkness,
The Astonishing Light
Of your own Being!"

This is why I love Hafiz.
Sep 21, 2014 Sandy rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Sandy by: Dorrie Brinson
Love at first page and all subsequent ones! Inspired by his spirit of mirth and lightness, I read him now as a daily devotion to remind myself of Gods devotion to me.
Mar 05, 2016 Brian rated it it was amazing
I'm a big fan of Ladinsky's renderings of Hafiz -- this and "The Gift" are both very dear to my heart.
May 27, 2016 Llucas rated it it was amazing
A friend gave me this book after my husband died and it soothed my soul.
Stephanie Curran
Nov 19, 2015 Stephanie Curran rated it it was amazing
My favorite Sufi poet! I love the poem "I know how you can get".
Jun 14, 2015 Suzan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In joyed reading these poems. My neighbor lent me this book while I was recuperating it was a very easy and fun read.
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Hafez (حافظ) was a Persian poet whose collected works (The Divan) are regarded as a pinnacle of Persian literature and are to be found in the homes of most people in Iran, who learn his poems by heart and still use them as proverbs and sayings.

His life and poems have been the subject of much analysis, commentary and interpretation, influencing post-14th century Persian writing more than any other
More about Hafez...

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“There is a Beautiful Creature
Living in a hole you have dug.

So at night
I set fruit and grains
And little pots of wine and milk
Besides your soft earthen mounds,

And I often sing.

But still, my dear,
You do not come out.

I have fallen in love with Someone
Who hides inside you.

We should talk about this problem--

I will never leave you alone.”

What is the difference
Between your experience of Existence
And that of a saint?

The saint knows
That the spiritual path
Is a sublime chess game with God

And that the Beloved
Has just made such a Fantastic Move

That the saint is now continually
Tripping over Joy
And bursting out in Laughter
And saying, “I Surrender!”

Whereas, my dear,
I am afraid you still think
You have a thousand serious moves.”
More quotes…