The Gift

The Gift

4.7 16
by Hafiz

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Chosen by author Elizabeth Gilbert as one of her ten favorite books, Daniel Ladinsky’s extraordinary renderings of 250 unforgettable lyrical poems by Hafiz, one of the greatest Sufi poets of all time

More than any other Persian poet—even Rumi—Hafiz expanded the mystical, healing dimensions of poetry. Because his poems were often

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Chosen by author Elizabeth Gilbert as one of her ten favorite books, Daniel Ladinsky’s extraordinary renderings of 250 unforgettable lyrical poems by Hafiz, one of the greatest Sufi poets of all time

More than any other Persian poet—even Rumi—Hafiz expanded the mystical, healing dimensions of poetry. Because his poems were often ecstatic love songs from God to his beloved world, many have called Hafiz the "Invisible Tongue." Indeed, Daniel Ladinsky has said that his work with Hafiz is an attempt to do the impossible: to render Light into words—to make the Luminous Resonance of God tangible to our finite senses.

I am a hole in a flute that the Christ's breath moves through
listen to this music!

With this stunning collection of Hafiz's most intimate poems, Ladinsky has succeeded brilliantly in presenting the essence of one of Islam's greatest poetic and religious voices. Each line of The Gift imparts the wonderful qualities of this master Sufi poet and spiritual teacher: encouragement, an audacious love that touches lives, profound knowledge, generosity, and a sweet, playful genius unparalleled in world literature.

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Editorial Reviews

Sandra Marshall
For those initiated in colder faces of worship, this Sufi's passionate freedom as God's loving partner is beyond heartwarming; reinvigorate yourself y opening any page and accepting its call. >br>— Napra Review
Kirkus Reviews
The Gift ( paperback original; Aug.; 326 pp.; 0-14-019581-5): A worthy companion volume to Coleman Banks's new translation of Rumi (The Glance, see below). It collects 250 poems written by Muhammad Hafiz (1320–89), the most popular and highly revered poet in Persian history, and renders them into a fresh translation from the Farsi. Like Rumi, Hafiz writes out of the Sufi tradition, and his work bears the Sufi hallmarks of ecstatic spirituality conveyed at once through lush imagery and verbal restraint. His fabulistic, almost didactic style can sound a bit flat at times ("How / Do I / Listen to others? / As if everyone were my Master / Speaking to me / His / Last / Words"), but there is a religious intensity in his work that is equally fresh and naive ("When no one is looking and I want / To kiss / God / I just lift my own hand / To / My / Mouth") and quite unlike anything found in the Western tradition (though modern minimalists such as Robert Lax come close). A fine preface by Ladinsky and an excellent introduction by Henry S. Mindlin.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Compass Series
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.32(w) x 10.88(h) x 0.91(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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The Gift: Poems by Hafiz The Great Sufi Master 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.'
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
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).
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
CompassionateGrace More than 1 year ago
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.
Neice More than 1 year ago
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.
Banes4Nobel More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GreenTerra More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
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...
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
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 be sung. Hafiz brings the heart to life and gives it verse to dance to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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 *****+