If you only read one thing this week…


13th Century Poems for the Modern Age by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
May 15, 2007, 3:41 pm
Filed under: Book reviews, If you only have 15 mins

We don’t often put poetry on this site but I have just come across some of the poems by a Sufi poet called Hafiz/Hafez who was writing in the 14th Century at about the time that Chaucer was writing in England. Hafiz is the term given to Muslims who have memorized the Qur’an. The translation by Daniel Lidinsky in The Gift is beautiful and very modern. I found the poetry very moving and modern and a very different face to some of Muslim literature that is being presented in the media, that polarizes different religious perspectives. If you are interested in reading more about Hafiz’s life Wikipedia has an interesting biography. Read on for a couple of poems from the book that particularly caught my eye:

This Sane Idea

Let your

Intelligence begin to rule

Whenever you sit with others

Using this sane idea:

Leave all your cocked guns in a field

Far from us,

One of those damn things

Might go

Off.

—-

 

Stop Being So Religious

What

Do sad people have in

Common?

It seems

They have all built a shrine

To the past

And often go there

And do a strange wail and

Worship

What is the beginning of

Happiness?

It is to stop being

So religious

Like

That.

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