Customer Reviews for

The Gift

Average Rating 4.5
( 16 )
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5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

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2 Star

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2007

    A reviewer

    The reason I give this work only one star is not because the poems aren't enjoyable, but that they are not from the collection of poems by Hafiz. As an Iranian academic once pointed out in a review of this book, there is not a single poem in the Divan of Hafiz that bears any resemblance to any poem in this book. It would be far more accurate to say that these poems were 'inspired' by Hafiz, rather than being translations. The author may be an inspired poet, but he does not know Persian, and has not translated any of these poems, nor has even stayed relatively true to the English translations available. For individuals looking for the real poetry from Hafiz, look at 'The Grean Sea of Heaven' or Peter Avery's new collection 'The Collected Lyrics of Hafiz of Shiraz.'

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    "The Gift" Speaks Timeless Beauty

    The poems of Hafiz are beautiful, timeless and life-affirming. I usually read one or two poems at a time and then savor them for the rest of the day.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Beyond Rumi

    Hafiz has a gift for finding the Cosmic in the beauties of nature and the most delicate of human emotions -- and also in very mundane, ordinary-life circumstances. Sometimes he presents it all in terms as esoteric as Rumi, and sometimes with rich, earthy humor all his own; but always with a grace that delights both eye and ear. This book is truly A Gift....(pun intended).

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  • Posted November 1, 2011

    My Favorite Book!

    I love this collection. It runs the gamut of feelings about connection and life. I reference it often, and find inspiration and comfort in every page. It is especially wonderful to have on my Nook and iPhone, where I have it always available.

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  • Posted March 5, 2011

    My absolute favorite book of poetry!

    I love this book so much that I've given it as a gift several times to friends I knew would (and did) love it. I love Hafiz (and Rumi, and many other inspired poets) and I find myself enjoying Landinsky's translations the best. For me, he captures the passion of the composer and conveys it to the reader.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    Ecstatic Poetry at its best!

    This is the most moving poetry I have yet to find.
    "Even after all this time
    Does the Sun ever say to Earth
    You owe me?"
    A totally new way to see how mankind fits into the big picture.
    AWESOME

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  • Posted November 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A favorite

    Hafiz swept into my life about 10 years ago. I had seen him in my peripheral vision growing up. But one day he burst through the doors and strode into my life never to leave! And I am glad.

    The wisdom and beauty of this translation has help me through many a rough time. The constant reminder from so many points of view, that no one can stop you from carrying god, or saying the name of god, sometimes is all that we need to make us lift our eyes from the mud to see the wonder of creation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2007

    The Christ's Breath is Here

    Hafiz (c.1320-1389) sometimes spelled 'Hafez', says in this book, 'I am a hole in a flute that the Christ's breath moves through--listen to this music.' What an extraordinary claim that is, that my heart feels is true--for the wonder and magnificent gift of any great poet is to somehow touch our souls with God's hand--with divine music. The Gift has been considered one of the best-selling spiritual poetry books in the English language for nearly a decade now. It's showing all the signs of becoming a lasting, well-deserved classic. In these brilliant, deeply tender, witty and full-hearted renderings, Ladinsky releases the true spirit of this most beloved Persian poet and spiritual teacher and makes him fully accessible to our times. Hafiz has influenced and nourished many writers, poets and scholars through the centuries, including Nietzsche, Byron, Hugo, Lorca, Goethe and Emerson. If you're interested in knowing more about some of these eminent poets own words about translation/renderings, please read on, below, following some of these shorter gems from THE GIFT..... THE SUN NEVER SAYS: Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth, 'You owe me.' Look what happens with a love like that, it lights the whole sky. THE SCENT OF LIGHT: Like a great starving beast my body is quivering, fixed on the scent of Light. YOU'RE IT: God, disguised as a myriad things and playing a game of tag, has kissed you and said 'You're it --- I mean you're Really IT! Now it does not matter what you believe or feel, for something wonderful, major-league wonderful, is someday going to happen. I HAVE LEARNED SO MUCH: I have learned so much from God that I can no longer call myself a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Jew. The Truth has shared so much of Itself with my heart that I can no longer think of myself as a man, a woman, an angel or even pure soul. Reality has befriended me so deeply -- it has freed my mind of every concept and image I have ever known. For those interested in the conversation that goes back and forth about the legitimacy of renderings and translations of Hafiz, this may be helpful information: Professor R. A. Nicholson's scholarly work with Hafiz in the late 1800's and later, that of Professor A.J. Arberry, have long been considered the gold standard of Hafiz's literal translations in to the English language. In a 1948 review of Arberry's translations, Harvard Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Eric Schroeder, praises Arberry's work and agrees with him about the difficulty of presenting this greatest Persian poet to English speaking minds. 'For Hafiz' beautiful verbal surface is too complex to retain the felicity of poetry when fully rendered into English. The acoustic structure of English equivalents, it is superfluous to say, could never echo the flawless music of the Persian words.' Schroeder's review states too, 'The only service of translation is to make the foreign poet a poet of one's own country.' Goethe translated Hafiz and said of him...'Hafiz had no peer!' Of the task of translating, Goethe says, 'I revere the rhythm as well as the rhyme, by which poetry first becomes poetry but that which is really, deeply and fundamentally effective--what is really permanent and furthering--is what remains of the poet when he is translated into prose... I therefore consider prose translations more advantageous than poetical ones... Those critical translations that vie with the original seem really to be only for the private delectation of the learned.' Emerson too rendered Hafiz, about whom he stated, 'He fears nothing. He sees too far he sees throughout such is the only man I wish to see and be.' Emerson's translations were both free renderings and translations all made from German sources, for he did not read or speak Persian with any fluency. Contemporary poet/translator Kenneth Rexroth states, 'The writer who can project himself into the exultation of another learns more than the craft of words, he lear

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2002

    awesome

    His words made me a positive person...Took all the negativity away from my heart..with him I found the connection and peace with my inner self...thanks for the individuals who made these books available ...It is a true treasure and doesn't cost much to own it...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2002

    Hafiz the Mystic Guide still rings true in the 20th century

    This is a book that as a student of the Sufi path I keep going back to again and again for inspiration and comfort. Hafiz never fails to surprise me. Deeply felt and sometimes acerbic, his words resonate still in the 21st century. This book is a blessing to anyone on any spiritual path or those who simply need a 'pick-me-up' now and then. Namaste

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2001

    Drunk with the words of Hafiz!

    This is the best gift I ever gave myself. Hafiz is the greatest love. I find myself melting away under my covers or perched on a park bench completely mesmerized. This Gift is one that doesn't just stick to words in a book. The words are leaping off the pages longing to be read...to be sung. Hafiz brings the heart to life and gives it verse to dance to.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2001

    Superb!!!!!

    Forget what you think you know about poetry. Hafiz has no peer. This collection is wonderfully translated by somebody who has obviously gotten fully into the spirit of the work. There is more light in these pages than in volumes of other works... It is a joy which will continue to give you pause to think and appreciate for the rest of your life. Perhaps the best book I have ever had the good fortune to read. Buy it! Buy it and be thankful that you FOUND it! No reservations whatsoever *****+

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    Posted April 17, 2010

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    Posted December 2, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2010

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