Today I will be sharing the poem: “A Golden Compass” by poet Hafez, also known in poetry circles as Hafiz.
Hafez Shams-ud-Dīn Muhammad Shirazi was born in 1326 in the Persian city of Shiraz, Iran. A master of the poetic ghazal form and a fervent follower of the works of Rumi, Saadi and Nazmi, his collected works are regarded as a pinnacle of Persian literature. Today, his influence lives on as the most popular poet in Iran.
Despite his profound effect on Persian life and culture and his enduring popularity and influence, few details of Hafez’s life are known. However many semi-miraculous mythical tales were woven around Hafez that still survive today. It is said that by listening to his father’s recitations Hafez had accomplished the task of learning the Qur’an by heart at an early age. At the same time Hāfez is said to have known by heart the works of Rumi, Saadi, Farid ud-Din and Nizami.
According to one legend, before meeting his patron, Hajji Zayn al-Attar, Hafez had been working in a bakery, delivering bread to a wealthy quarter of the town. There he first saw Shakh-e Nabat, a woman of great beauty, to whom some of his poems are addressed. Ravished by her beauty, but knowing that his love for her would not be requited, he allegedly held his first mystic vigil in his desire to realize this union. During this he encountered a being of surpassing beauty who identified himself as an angel, and his further attempts at union became mystic; a pursuit of spiritual union with the divine. A Western parallel is that of Dante and Beatrice.
Furthermore at age 60 he is said to have completed a 40-day-and-night vigil by sitting in a circle which he had drawn for himself. The incredible mental and physical strength needed for such an exercise and at such an age is astounding.
Hafez was acclaimed throughout the Islamic world during his lifetime, with other Persian poets imitating his work, and offers of patronage from Baghdad to India. Today, he is the most popular poet in Iran. Libraries in many other nations other than Iran such as Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia contain his works.
Much later, the work of Hafez would leave a mark on such Western writers as Thoreau, Goethe, and Ralph Waldo Emerson—the latter referring to him as “a poet’s poet.” His work was first translated into English in 1771 by William Jones (a scholar of ancient-India).
Hafez died in 1390. His mausoleum is located in the Musalla Gardens of Shiraz.
I hope you find the following poem as uplifting and soul enriching as I do.
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A Golden Compass – A Soul Enriching Poem By Hafiz
Forget every idea of right and wrong
Any classroom ever taught you
An empty heart, a tormented mind,
Unkindness, jealousy and fear
Are always the testimony
You have been completely fooled!
Turn your back on those
Who would imprison your wondrous spirit
With deceit and lies.
Come, join the honest company
Of the King’s beggars –
Those gamblers, scoundrels and divine clowns
And those astonishing fair courtesans
Who need Divine Love every night.
Come, join the courageous
Who have no choice
But to bet their entire world
Indeed, God is Real.
I will lead you into the Circle
Of the Beloved’s cunning thieves,
Those playful royal rogues –
The ones you can trust for true guidance –
Who can aid you
In this Blessed Calamity of life.
Look at the Perfect One
At the Circle’s Center:
He Spins and Whirls like a Golden Compass,
Beyond all that is Rational,
To show this dear world
Everything in Existence
Does point to God.
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Hello! My name is Adam and welcome to my space on the internet. Here you can find me writing about subjects such as spiritual growth, self-discovery, wellbeing, addiction recovery and mental health. Please connect with me on my journey and join the community!