Ghazal #332 Divan-e-Hafez, revised

Although I seethe like a vat of wine from love’s ferment,
I drink blood with sealed lips that keep me silent.

It is the soul’s resolve to possess the beloved’s lips;
Look at me, whose struggle with soul has left me spent!

How can I be free from heart’s sorrow when each breath
The idol’s black curl rings my ear with the slave’s ornament?

God forbid that I fall in love with my own devotion;
This much is true: I drink a glass when the time is cogent.

I hope that on Judgement Day upon the enemy’s note,
The burden of His grace doesn’t leave me twisted and bent.

My father sold the green of heaven for two grains of wheat;
Why not sell for less this garden that blooms but a moment?

My wearing the dervish frock is not about religion;
It is a covering to conceal a hundred torments.

I who wish to drink only pure and filtered wine, what can
I do but remain with the wise Magian conversant?

If in this way our minstrel plays in the mode of love,
Hafez’s verse when heard will create astonishment.






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One Response to Ghazal #332 Divan-e-Hafez, revised

  1. bill gannett says:

    This ghazal, like Hafez’s ghazals in general, strikes individualistic
    and contrarian notes. In the first beyt, the speaker reveals his
    suffering (a standard trope) and declares (ironically) that his honor
    lies in silence. In the second beyt, he refers to the unattainable beloved
    (a standard trope), and invites the mercy of the object of address with
    a witty reference to his insufficiency. In the third beyt, he states
    that his position is hopeless because he is enslaved by the beloved’s
    curl (which is like a ring in his ear, indicating his slave status), but
    which also indicates the intimacy of his relationship. The fourth beyt
    is a bit ambiguous; I have translated it to emphasize the interpretation
    that it refers to a mystical state that might be construed
    as self indulgent. He defends himself by saying that he gets drunk
    discretely. In the next beyt, he ramps up his wit with a standard trope
    referring to the enemy (or rival) and the absurdity of his cavil by
    punning on the “heaviness” of grace. In the sixth beyt, he refers
    to Adam who betrayed man (not with an apple as in the Bible) but with
    grain. In the seventh beyt, he very wittily distinguishes himself from
    the professional Sufi by stating that the frock he wears is to hide
    his insufficiency rather than promote a faux holiness. Again, he
    emphasizes the reality of his suffering. In the eighth beyt, he finally
    mentions the Magian Elder who as a Zoroastrian has the dubious
    right to sell wine in an Islamic environment that proscribes it. But
    this Magian sells the good stuff, and is wise because of it. In the last
    beyt, he refers to the fact that his ghazal is a song that if performed by
    the minstrel will knock the socks off of everyone.

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