Poem of the week June 8 2009

Tumble into Sufi poetry and, sooner or later, you will stumble into Hafiz. It happened to me.

The verses of Rumi and Hafiz, Bulle Shah and Amir Khusrau fill my heart. They rhyme with the devotional poetry of Surdas, Mirabai, Guru Nanak, Kabir, Emerson and Tagore. Sufi poetry greets its fellow theosophies at the intersection of all religions. The heart of all major religions is made up of devotion, faith and surrender to the Divine, and Sufiana pierces that heart with the message of play, love and joy.

In some aspects, Sufism shares common ground with the Advaita philosophy in Hinduism, and most definitely with the writings in the Upanishads that speak of God being none other than oneself. The great sufi saints, from Moinuddin Chishti to Hazrat Babajan, lived in very similiar ways to the great modern Indian saints such as Ramakrishna Paramahansa and Sai Baba.

Here are some of my favourite poems by Hafiz translated by Daniel Ladinsky

The Subject Tonight is Love

The subject tonight is Love
And for tomorrow night as well,

As a matter of fact
I know of no better topic
For us to discuss

Until we all

Buttering the Sky

On my shoes,

Boiling water,
Toasting bread,
Buttering the sky:

That should be enough contact
With God in one day

To make anyone

All the Hemispheres

Leave the familiar for a while.
Let your senses and bodies stretch out

like a welcomed season
onto the meadow and shores and hills.

Open up to the Roof.
Make a new watermark on your excitement
and love.

Like a blooming night flower,
bestow your vital fragrance of happiness
and giving
upon our intimate assembly.

Change rooms in your mind for a day.

All the hemispheres in existence
lie beside an equator
in your heart.

Greet Yourself
In your thousand other forms
as you mount the hidden tide and travel
back home.

All the hemispheres in heaven
are sitting around a fire

While stitching themselves together
into the Great Circle inside of


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