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I Heard God Laughing: Renderings of Hafiz
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I Heard God Laughing: Renderings of Hafiz

4.51  ·  Rating details ·  1,271 ratings  ·  116 reviews
"I Heard God Laughing" is by Hafiz, one of Persia's most beloved poets. Hafiz describes the richness and beauty of the world when seen through the eyes of love and portrays all the stages and processes of spiritual unfolding that transform human love into divine love.
Paperback, 161 pages
Published January 1st 1996 by Sufism Reoriented
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First of all, many thanks to B. O. who gave me this chance to get acquainted with such book and read it.

What kind of love is here?
I think It's a weird manner of loving, a weird kind of being in an intimate attachment with "someone". I believe that LOVE is one thing, which has so many sides and faces. We choose the way we are capable of.
I still can not assimilate such kind of love with Masters, Exotic Creatures and Queer Elephants!

Gather All your courage -
Throw yourself into his bed!
Ahmad Sharabiani
I Heard God Laughing: Renderings of Hafiz, Daniel Ladinsky, Henry S. Mindlin, H. Wilberforce Clarke
Cynthia Egbert
Jan 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
David E.P.
Jul 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, religion
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.
Mohammad Javad
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I very much agree with him that some translation did not transfer the spirit of Hafiz poems and I think he took a very good step in addressing this issue in his translation.
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful!! I loved these poems so much that I had to buy my own copy!
Waqar Hussain
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hafiz Shirazi was a great master and one of the greatest poets to have ever lived. This book is a beautiful piece of his poetry which is based centrally on love, spirituality, mysticism and religion. Worth a read!
Apollo Rock It!
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't really know how to review this considering it's probably the first book of poetry I've ever read without scholastic coercion. Hafez is a joy to read because Hafez is so joyous. If you're ever feeling down and could use a pick me up, you won't go wrong with Hafez.

I'm (morbidly?) curious with translated works whether I'm getting the "real deal." Suppose that's just the skeptic in me. I did enjoy this translation but now I want to go find a more literal translation so I can compare them. In
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Tony Agnesi
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Daniel Ladinsky did an outstanding job of bringing the poetry of Hafez to life. Both Rumi and Hafez have been quoted often on social media and this book and the essential Rumi were my first venture into these Persian poets. I am not into poetry so I probably will end my quest with these essential volumes.
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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”
Tuscany Bernier
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Beautiful. Relevant. A new favorite.
Feb 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful ,rich ,and true.
Robert Sheppard


The "Islamic Golden Age" was an historical period b
Shari McCullough
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you've never encountered Third Place Books in the Seattle area you should consider adding it to your must visit list. It has a huge variety of books in a warm inviting setting. Plus you can grab edible treats and beverages while visiting.

On our recent visit I discovered this whimsical, thin book of poetry. The poems are "renderings of Hafiz" by Daniel Ladinsky.

Here are just two stanzas that might intrigue you.

Ever since Happiness heard your name
It has been running through the streets
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first ever poetry collection and I really loved it! I looooved the first half of this and found it so beautiful and personally meaningful. I had to stop several times to take it all in and one poem actually made me tear up, which I was not expecting at all. The second half of the collection wasn't as great for me. It was very repetitious and lacked those profound moments I found in the first half. However, all in all I really enjoyed it and it wasn't intimidating at all so I recommend it to f ...more
Annie Fyfe
Nov 30, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-harder, poetry, god
This was a book I read for my read harder challenge and I didn't like it. I'm not much of a religious person, but I can enjoy uplifting spiritual reading sometimes. This was not that. Nothing about this was of interest to me, it was very God heavy and more about a "him" than anything else. I kept thinking I'd stumble on one poem that would speak to me but none did. Not recommended.
Jayce Williams
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Daniel Ladinsky himself shines through as a masterful spiritual teacher, reflecting and refracting the insights of Hafiz through clever devotions. These “renderings” will speak to anyone who has ever worshipped a god, devoted themselves to a cause, or got lost in the beauty of Bhakti. Ladinsky does it again!
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inspiring Poetry translation

Good vibrant rendition of the feel of Hafez. Which is difficult for such esoteric and inspiring poetry. Some criticise Ladsinsky for not being literal enough. This is not about being literal
Janna Shaftan
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"So what
If the price of admission to the Divine
is out of reach tonight"

"Start seeing everything as God
but keep it a secret"

"You will be
a crawling infant
still skinning your knees on God"

The poetry of Hafiz is remarkable 💗
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: with-him
if we all loved the way he did..
jo ianni
Dec 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I want to know the original so badly!
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful...I really loved a few of them.
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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

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.”
“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.”
More quotes…