Friday, June 29, 2012

The Theory Of Everything - Reprise

The Tomb of Hafiz
Twenty years after his death, a tomb (the Hafezieh) was erected to honor Hafez in the Musalla Gardens in Shiraz. The current Mausolem was designed by André Godard, French archeologist and architect, in the late 1930s. Inside, Hafez's alabaster tombstone bears two of his poems inscribed upon it.

Khwāja Shamsu d-Dīn Muhammad Hāfez-e Shīrāzī (Persian: خواجه شمس‌الدین محمد حافظ شیرازی‎), known by his pen name Hāfez (1325/1326–1389/1390), was a Persian lyric poet. His collected works composed of series of Persian poetry (Divan) are to be found in the homes of most Persian speakers in Iran and Afghanistan, as well as elsewhere in the world, who learn his poems by heart and use them as proverbs and sayings to this day. His life and poems have been the subject of much analysis, commentary and interpretation, influencing post-fourteenth century Persian writing more than any other author.

Themes of his ghazals are the beloved, faith, and exposing hypocrisy. His influence in the lives of Iranians can be found in "Hafez readings" (fāl-e hāfez, Persian: فال حافظ‎), frequent use of his poems in Persian traditional music, visual art and Persian calligraphy. His tomb in Shiraz is visited often. Adaptations, imitations and translations of Hafez' poems exist in all major languages.

I know who...I am under vows to the Master of Poets. God in this facet. I am under vows as was Hafiz, the Sufi mystic First Poet of Persia. From time to time one feature or another of my situation arises in a poem. Usually I say, Yup. That's true. Then, I say, that's not it though. Turn honesty into art. Yup. That's not it though, or else poems of fantasy and science fiction wouldn't count, and they do. Oh yes, they do. In this particular game it has to resolve into one thing, the poetical Theory of Everything. I haven't found it yet...

Turn Honesty Into Art

The way this thing goes,
This poetry thing happened
And now I'm in vows
Like my man Hafiz
To turn honesty to art
Before the Lord, you,
All of you, spirit
Moving across my heart bones,
I turn in my grave.

Digging myself out
Or maybe digging me in,
Deeper into God.

Written 1/01/2009 7:11 PM
First Posted May 15, 2009
Stuff on Hafiz (or Hafez) added today.


When we look for the source of all the problems that confront human life we usually blame everything but the root cause: our lack of spiritual discipline and realization. Particularly in this degenerate age, the world atmosphere is so very negative and the conditions around us conducive to little but evil karma and meaningless distractions, that not to have the protection of spiritual knowledge is to leave ourselves totally defenseless against the negative mind.

The Path to Enlightenment, page 38.
His Holiness, The Dalai Lama


  1. this post grounds me in a difficult (and foolish) moment. i will try harder today, refreshed and new, willing.

    and this which i found at dean's site, the beauty we love, a poem by mary oliver. i forget the title.

    What is there beyond knowing that keeps
    calling to me? I can't
    turn in any direction
    but it's there. I don't mean
    the leaves' grip and shine or even the thrush's
    silk song, but the far-off
    fires, for example,
    of the stars, heaven's slowly turning
    theater of light, or the wind
    playful with its breath;
    or time that's always rushing forward,
    or standing still
    in the same -- what shall I say --
    What I know
    I could put into a pack
    as if it were bread and cheese, and carry it
    on one shoulder,
    important and honorable, but so small!
    While everything else continues, unexplained
    and unexplainable. How wonderful it is
    to follow a thought quietly
    to its logical end.
    I have done this a few times.
    But mostly I just stand in the dark field,
    in the middle of the world, breathing
    in and out. Life so far doesn't have any other name
    but breath and light, wind and rain.
    If there's a temple, I haven't found it yet.
    I simply go on drifting, in the heaven of the grass
    and the weeds.

    ~from Swan - Poems and Prose Poems


  2. Erin, thank you. I do find it amusing that a wordless sentiment is the subject of a poem written by a poet so engrossed in her poesy.

    For my part, when I wrote this poem I was engaged in a discipline of writing at least two poems a day or the equivalent, fourteen poems a week or sixty two a month and the like. That is now long past but I am no less under vows in my way.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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