Three lessons of Hafez Shirazipersi

Three lessons of Hafez Shirazipersi

Hafez Shirazi is one of the greatest poets in world literature, whose work has for centuries been studied by literary scholars around the world. While continuing to develop philosophical concepts of Omar Khayyam and Rumi and not being afraid to express his own thoughts on paper, Hafez composed poems that remain relevant today. Hafez is of particular importance to the Iranians, who are very passionate about the great history of their literature. His collection of poetry can be found in any Iranian family, and a book of poetry decorated with an expensive typographic print will certainly be placed in the center of the festive table.

Since ancient times, the Iranians have been asking the great poet what will happen to them in the future: asking a question, a fortuneteller names a page, a column and row number, and this particular line should be prophetic. Paying tribute to the great thinker, the Iranians annually celebrate Hafez Shirazi Day. On October 12 (20 mehrs according to the Iranian calendar), festive events are held in all Iranian cities, but the most magnificent are held in the poet’s hometown - Shiraz.

Despite the fact that Hafiz lived and worked in the 14th century, his works are so relevant that we all should learn from the great poet. Here are a few things he his poetry inspires. However, he lived by such life rules himself.

Lesson number one. Appreciate what you have in life, appreciate every moment of it and memories you have. Hafez has both life-affirming poems, which are full of youth, and rather sad, screaming about how the poet misses the old days:

A flower- tinted cheek, the flowery close
Of the fair earth, these are enough for me –
Enough that in the meadow wanes and grows
The shadow of a graceful cypress tree.
(Translated by Getrude Lowthian Bell)


Remember the day of union with the friends.
Remember those times, remember.
(Translated by Elizabeth T. Gray)

Lesson number two. Do not be afraid of death, because eventually it will claim even the best ones. By the way, this lesson is directly related to the first one: once freed from the fear of death, it will be much easier for you to feel the joy of life.

The dust of my body veils the face of my soul.
Blessed be the moment I remove that veil.
(Translated by Geoffrey Squires)

I won't hold his hands, if they cut me with a sword
Gladly accept the arrows that towards me have soared.
(Translated by Shahriar Shahriari)

Lesson number three. Love and value your loved ones. This is a cross-cutting theme of the poet’s major works: he suffers from loneliness when his relatives are away, gave them warm welcome after a separation, and feels sad because of their departure. Hafiz is sensitive to the unity of people, and always happy to see his beloved friends.

If a thousand enemies are intent on my demise
With you as my friend, fear won't arise.
(Translated by Shahriar Shahriari)

The truths that a reader can learn from Hafiz’s lyrics do not end here. His works encapsulate folk wisdom and concern for really important things. We highlighted only three lessons of Hafiz - which seem so simple and clear! We should stop and think whether or not we adhere to these rules in our busy modern life.

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