Faces of Love: Hafez and the Poets of Shiraz (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

Faces of Love: Hafez and the Poets of Shiraz (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

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Faces of Love: Hafez and the Poets of Shiraz 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Basil More than 1 year ago
Leave it to an Englishman: He masters a recondite ancient language, then uses his ingrained poetic skills to beautifully translate assorted literary masters. Meet Dick Davis, emeritus professor of Persian at Ohio State University, whose latest work offers a case in point. It's not enough that he translates poetry by Hafez, Iran's most beloved versifier; Jahan Malek Khatun, a hard-luck princess who followed in Hafez's footsteps; and Obayd-e Zakani, a master "dissolute satirist." But Davis goes about his work nimbly, offering a product that is totally accessible for the 21st century reader. And not just accessible, but an unalloyed joy. Hafez was a souse in 14th century Shiraz. Except for his alcoholism, he was apparently a loyal Muslim. But he was a court poet,too, and set in his ways, as we discover in this fragment: "Wine in my glass, and roses in/My arms,/Go, mind your own business/Preacher!" Later, Hafez admits that: "Fate drags me to the wine/shop's door--/and though I turn and/twist,/That's always where I finish up;/it's useless to resist." Finally, a note of ebullience trails off into the shade: "Come boy, and pass the wine/around--/Love seemed a simple game/When I encountered it...but/then/The difficulties came!/In." A beautiful book for a wide range of readers.