|Haﬁz - Persian Poet|
Hafiz, a pen name for Khajeh Shamseddin Mohammad Shirazi, was born in Shiraz in present-day Iran. Following the death of his father, a merchant, Hafiz lived in poverty until his poetry earned him the patronage of several Persian rulers.
He is perhaps the most admired poet among Persians, who, up to the present day, memorize and quote extensively from his lyric poems. He is best known for his over 500 Ghazals (sonnets) collected in his Diwan. His lyricism is captured in the following portions of the sonnet “My Bird”:
My soul is a scared bird, the highest heaven his next
Fretting within its body-bars, it finds on earth its nest
Hafiz often wrote about his favored hometown of Shiraz. Other poems are highly erotic, while others are clearly influenced by Islamic mysticism or Sufism. His many references to wine and drinking from the cup are believed by many to be symbolic of Sufibelief in mystical intoxication. Others argue that the language is not symbolic.
Hafiz had an enormous influence on Arabic and Turkish literature and his poems have also been translated into many Western languages. Authors as diverse as the American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson and the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe admired the poetry of Hafiz.