It’s been a while since I last posted anything here for Gathering Books, so I’m once again staking claim on our Poetry Friday post. We have, for the past month, exploring two major cultural, if not geographical, plains. It has so far been challenging to dig ones teeth through Chinese and Middle Eastern literature.
However, the poetry is not as hard for me. I had an opportunity to “meet” Hafez, a Persian (Iranian) poet. His poetry has shaped and contributed a lot to Persian Literature, however, little is known of him. He is said to laud the joys of love and wine. Today, I share two poems of his—a longer one and a shorter one.
I had recently purchased some of Penguin’s Little Black Classic. One of them being was of Hafez’s poetry. All the poems from this little ‘excerpt’ book came from a collection called, Faces of Love: Hafez and the Poets of Shiraz. While there was a lot of wine, there was also a lot of longing. Of the few poems in this tiny book, my favorite was a short one.
What does life give me in the end but sorrow?
What do love’s good and evil send but sorrow?
I’ve only seen one true companion—pain,
And I have known no faithful friend by sorrow.
In parts I love the brevity of it and the weight of the words, but also because such words fit so perfectly into a modern day lyrics from an emo-rock band or just a plain old ballad. And maybe, I just really like how sorrowful it all is. Below, is another poem from the poet. It’s longer, but equally lovely in its longing.
For more poems today, check our the Poetry Friday Round up at Jama Rattigan @ Jama’s Alphabet Soup.