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The Nightingales are Drunk

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  763 ratings  ·  117 reviews
'Drunk or sober, king or soldier, none will be excluded'

Sensual, profound, delighted, wise, Hafez's poems have enchanted their readers for more than 600 years. One of the greatest figures of world literature, he remains today the most popular poet in modern Iran.

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the h
Paperback, Little Black Classics #27, 64 pages
Published February 26th 2015 by Penguin Classics (first published 1390)
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Come, tell me what it is that
I have gained
From loving you,

The doubtful quality of translation and the thematic similarity of the selection makes it an unsuitable book to approach Hafiz's poetry for the uninitiated. Not that it's impossible to not like him, but I hold this LBC responsible for the many one-star comments trashing Hafiz the poet that you see in community reviews. But I can't help but rate it five stars because Hafiz is a five-star poet and one of the greatest practitioners of the cl
Sean Barrs
Dec 14, 2015 rated it did not like it

This is a crap poem.

It suggests that through alcohol we can find happiness, which is just absurd. Alcohol makes you drunk not happy. There’s a massive difference between the two. A temporary fix does not constitute for lasting contentment.

“The Nightingales are drunk, wine-red roses appear,
And, Sufis, all around us happiness is near.”

I just don’t like the attitude of the poem. It is too fatalistic in its approach to life. There’s nothing wrong with drinking alcohol, but the way this poem sug
Jacob Overmark
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A whisper from behind a veil
Does tell my turn is due
Circling trice around his tomb, your wishes will come true

A ruby wine on rosy lips
The color match divine
So tell me, give the poet hope
When will your heart be mine

Someday, perhaps, the whisper from behind the veil oppose
But first, my poet, swear to me, my secret don´t disclose.

I´m but a Djinni of the night
Induced by wine and sorrow
A vision now, a vivid dream
When morning comes, I’m out of sight

Alas, then fill my cup again, this night must never e
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Let go, and make life easy for yourself,
Don't strain and struggle, always wanting more;
A glass of wine, a lover lovely as
The moon -- you may be sure... they're all you need."

- Hafez from the poem 'My heart, good fortune is the only friend'


Vol 27 of my Penguin Little Black Classics Box Set is a selection of 26 Hafez poems from Penguin's collection: Faces of Love: Hafez and the Poets of Shiraz.

I loved it. I'm not sure about the translation quality. These poems were translated by Dick Davis in 201
“When love is faithful, and it seems
Nothing can hurt you,
Know that the world is faithless still
And will desert you… remember this.”

The thing is, even if all the other Little Black Classics were terrible and not worth the paper they’re printed on, then this, this one book, would have made it all worthwhile.

I read it and I fell in love. Simple as that. Without this series I most likely would never have read a single word of Hafez and I am so infinitely, so deliriously happy that I have, because I
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Truly some of the most beautiful poetry I've ever read. Some of the earlier poems weren't my favorite, but the later ones really showed Hafez's ability as both a poet and a critic. I'll definitely be reading more from him soon. ...more
Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, translated, iran
Go, mind your own business, preacher!
what's all
This hullabaloo?

I thought I knew what Hafez was all about, but it turns out I didn't. When I recently read The Left Hand of Darkness I thought that Handdara was based on Buddhist ideas, but now I am almost sure Le Guin was drawing rather on Sufiism or on Hafez, who calls himself ignorant, names his freedom, finds kinship in monasteries and enough of everything on earth (in the dust at God's door).

This inn has two doors, and through one we have to g
Joey Woolfardis
Hafez was a 14th Century Persian poet whose works are amongst the most popular in modern-day Iran. The nightingales are drunk is a collection of his poetry taken from Faces of Love.

Hafez likes wine. He likes drinking wine a lot. He revels in speaking to himself as if he were another person and his drinking is much a common problem with his religious practices.

"Speak Hafez! On the world's page trace
Your poems narrative;
The words your pen writes will have life
When you no longer live."

No poem ow
Nov 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: quickies
500 stars for Hafez though..
Liz Janet
Dec 29, 2015 rated it liked it
The two ends of Hāfez's poetry : “Ah, god forbid that I relinquish wine” to “What does life give me in the end but sorrow?”
Hāfez was a Persion poet, whom, I am quite sure, had two obsessions, women (was he bisexual?) and wine. It is said he also targeted religious hypocrisy, but I did not see much of that in this collection, but I do want to see in the future.
I find this part funny:
“And if I leave the mosque
For wine, don’t sneer at me
Sermons are long, and time
Moves on incessantly”

For a
Review in English | Reseña en Español
Come, tell me what is it that I have gained
From loving you,
Apart from losing all the faith I had
And knowledge too?

I rarely read poetry, and to be honest, I am not sure if I know how to read it. Even in Spanish I find it hard to feel truly immersed in verses, with the very unique exception of the Mexican poet Jaime Sabines. However, I am aware that Persian poets from the 14th and 15th centuries have a reputation and I had read bits and pieces from Rumi’
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
{ Can you tell that I am desperately hunting down every single LBC-poetry collection there is because I've recently learned that the entire collection is going out of print... *panics and runs to the book store* }

The Nightingales Are Drunk is by far my favorite poetry collection in the Little Black Classics series. Almost every poem packed an emotional punch and I highlighted and annotated the shit out of my edition. 10/10 would totally recommend!
And even though the drunkenness of love
Has rui
Michelle Curie
Apr 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
These poems didn't do anything for me. I partly blame the translation and the selection - for they sounded clumsy and boring, yet the repetitions made me suspect that in their original language they must have had more of a flow to them.

Hafez was a Persian poet whose works are considered the pinnacle of Persian literature and who has had a big cultural impact, with his words becoming sayings and phrases people know by heart. This selection focusses on his poems on love and alcohol, with mainly t
The Nightingales are Drunk is one of the nicest titles from the Little Black Classics collection. Unfortunately, the poetry editions have been a bit hit and miss (but mostly miss) with me. I often feel like I don't get them.

Hafez liked his drink - I don't. Maybe that is why we didn't connect. Either way I didn't like this edition and I am unlikely to read more by Hafez.

~Little Black Classics #27~

Find this and other reviews on
May 18, 2015 rated it liked it
I come away with some things:

1. Hafez was probably an alcoholic. Hah. All the poems in here talk about the pleasures of drinking wine.

2. I know that saying your name in the poem you are writing was/is old tradition but God it got annoying fast.

3. I liked some of the poems but the majority was meh. Not my style, not my feel. Sorry Hafez of the wine-bar.
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
The -1 star is only for the translation issues.
I don't know what could have been done better but definitely there was a sense of poems being contrived which I could not shake off.

But Hafez is Hafez. What are five stars for him when he has pitcher full of galaxies at his disposal!
May 12, 2015 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: drinkers who like to repeat their own name
Hafez is a CRAP POET. There said it, now lets get through his poems...
Wine, wine, wine... Hafez, my name is Hafez. I shall mention Hafez in every poem, in fact Hafez while reading this Hafez the mention of my name Hafez did I mention it? Hafez that's it Hafez the drunken muslim, after leggin' it from the mosque I like to go on the piss, the razzle oh, AND get rat arsed. In one poem I even mention getting out quick so I can neck the wine bottle.

I writes Hafez at the end of every poem because I a
Nov 25, 2020 rated it liked it
While I'm still unsure of what I expect from poetry or how I should approach it, I quite enjoyed this collection. I found it particularly interesting to see a range of verse structures ( which may be something normal, I am not familiar with the Persian tradition in poetry). Diverse topics, from the pure enjoyment of life and love to deep sadness and contemplation of sorrow, beautiful imagery and a rather playful, at times, style of writing, make this a collection I will be picking up again. ...more
just kat
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I may be a little biased because he wrote one of my all time favorite poems. I really don't care, I'm still sticking with 4 stars. ...more
Sep 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
WHAT I LEARNT: Hafez liked drinking wine. A lot of wine. Almost all of the poems in this book mentioned wine. Not that I blame him - I too enjoy a glass of wine every now and again (though certainly not in the quantity of his preference).

I found this to be an interesting collection of poetry to be sure. I didn't know what to expect when going in but found myself pleasantly surprised. What I love about these Little Black Classics is that they introduce readers to writers they don't know or know v
Oct 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this little collection of poems. They were easy to read and understand... accessible to people (like me) who don't know much about poetry. The structures were simple, but varied enough to keep it all interesting. ...more
Loredana (Bookinista08)
May 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics, poetry
A delightful little book, that I took my time reading and still didn't want to come to an end. Not all of the poems were great, but some of them really struck a cord in me. It's still baffling, for me at least, to think that Hafez lived in the 14th century! My people were still picking their noses at that time, while in other parts of the world culture was blooming. And what I also loved about his poems was that his 14th-century mindset was so similar to my own, in the 21st century. I also advoc ...more
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is an incredibly brief introduction to one of Persia's most famous poets. It's likely that the translation is dated. I've seen mention of better translators. But several poems give the impression that Hafez was fixated on men and/or boys. The other poems don't exactly transport one either. I have asked if the translation is bad and can report back if I get an answer. ...more
Mar 20, 2016 added it
Not going to give this a rating because I barely understood most of the poems, but they were at least lovely to pass the time with - and the book is precious if only for its title and that I bought it in company of my baes.
Jul 12, 2020 rated it liked it
A decent read. I didn't enjoy it as much for I felt much context was lost on translation.

But the translations are good and few of the poems are nice.

No harm in giving this 50 page book a try. 1 hour read, that's all it'll take.
Mia Green
No. 27
May 14, 2017 rated it liked it
To be honest, although I'm a big fan of Hafez, the translation from Farsi to English really killed all the pleasantness and meaningfulness of the poems. I still enjoy reading Hafez's poems in Farsi but I really wonder how people can find the translated poems interesting. ...more
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Altaf by: Auvi Rahman
Shelves: book-shelf
My first read of Hafez's poems. Even though I am not into poems - I very much liked what I read. This particular book showed Hafez's deep affection for wine, love, life and a lot of other subjects. I certainly look forward to reading other works of him. ...more
Hannah (jellicoereads)
Yes, dear readers, as part of my vow to broaden my literary horizons this year, I have even delved into some poetry. Hafez, also spelled as Hafiz, is responsible for some of the most profound, most reassuring, most lovely, most Pinterest-graphic worthy quotations that we have today.

This particular volume didn’t win me over me as much as I hoped, but it was still an interesting compilation – he writes a lot about wine and roses in this edition – a poet after my own heart! He also tackles religion
Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
A beautiful collection of poems by Hafez.
there’s beauty, but the kind you find in simple things, in the smallest of gestures.

“No rider comes to strike it; where
is everyone who should be there?
Silence, Hafez, since no one knows
The secret ways that heaven goes;

Who is it that you're asking how
The heavens are revolving now?"

However, he was quite repetitive, referring to himself in the third person and speaking of wine. A lot of wine. And that was something I didn't quite enjoy.
But overall a good
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Hāfez (حافظ) (Khwāja Shams-ud-Dīn Muḥammad Ḥāfeẓ-e Shīrāzī) 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-1

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“What does life give me in the end but sorrow?
What do love's good and evil send but sorrow?
I've only seen one true companion - pain,
And I have known no faithful friend but sorrow.”
“With wine beside a gently flowing brook - this is the best;
Withdrawn from sorrow in some quiet nook - this is the best”
More quotes…