Ghazal #141 Divan-e-Hafez, Khanlari

What is this drunkenness that the way has brought us-
Who’s the saqi, and from where did the wine come to us?

What mode does he strike, this minstrel well versed in song
Who in mid-ghazal talks about the friend’s promise?

Because of the sweet-singing bird’s melody, come
Cup in hand, and take up the way to this wilderness.

The violet with joyous beauty, the jasmine with purity;
May the arrival of rose and jonquil be so blessed!

The dawn breeze of good news is Solomon’s hoopoe,
Who flies from Sheba’s garden with tidings joyous.

O heart like a rosebud, do not complain of the enclosed,
When dawn’s breeze has made what was all tangled loose.

The cure for the weak heart lies in the saqi’s glances:
The doctor has now arrived with remedy’s presence.

I am the Magian Elder’s slave; don’t cavil, O sheikh:
Why?- he has fulfilled for me what was your promise!

I demure by the narrow eyes of that martial Turk
Who attacked me- a dervish with only a single dress!

The heavens now obey Hafez’s slavery because
He has taken refuge at the door of your largesse.

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One Response to Ghazal #141 Divan-e-Hafez, Khanlari

  1. bill gannett says:

    This ghazal illustrates how the ghazal is based on conventional tropes- imagistic metaphors. Hafez inherited a poetic tradition that was several hundred years old (imagine that!), and which was really quite conventional. The first beyt introduces the common trope of the wine-bearer (typically conceived as a prepubescent youth), but of whom the speaker feigns ignorance. He also alludes to the “way”, the mystic path. The second beyt continues the rhetorical question posed in the first beyt as to what, really, he is talking about. The third beyt again alludes to the spiritual path of to-be-discovered qualities. The fourth beyt cites flowers as emblems of spiritual qualities. In the next beyt, the speaker mentions the common story of Solomon- an exalted being, and his dalliance with the Queen of Sheba facilitated by the intermediary, the hoopoe. The fifth beyt compares the opening rose to the beloved loosening and letting fall his/ her hair. The sixth beyt again refers to the saqi, but this time with definiteness as to his life-saving qualities. In the eighth beyt, Hafez makes his signature reference to the Zoroastrian Master, and with whom no one else can compare. The ninth beyt refers to the trope of the conventionally handsome Turk whose beauty slays the lover, in this case the scarcely clad speaker (dervish means “poor”). The last beyt closes with a conventional statement of inferiority to the object of address, but with a marvelous twist: Hafez’s servitude has made him a master of the heavens!

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