Spring is in full bloom, and this Thursday let’s pause for inspiration with a poem by Hafiz, a beloved Persian Sufi poet from the 14th century. Sufis are Muslims who emphasize the individual’s direct connection to God, often via a mystical dimension.
Sometimes complicated or complex issues need a simple dose of inspiration in order to find a solution or uncover a new approach. The mental breath of fresh air that poetry can often provide is key to developing skills such as seeing past ‘the Other’ and recognizing and celebrating our common humanity even when and where it seems impossible. Along with the spirit embodied in this poem, let us not be taken in by gloomy headlines and deathly fears, and celebrate that spring is here and can bring with it the “Sabaa wind” Hafiz mentions. One poetry blogger notes that the “Sabaa is a wind at sunrise coming from the East. Spiritual poets associate the Sabaa with the breath of the Beloved; coming from the East, it is the first whisper of daylight, of spiritual enlightenment. It carries the perfumed promise of the new day. It is a messenger of awakening, subtle, playful, revealing new beauty.”
Spring and all its flowers
Spring and all its flowers
now joyously break their vow of silence.
It is time for celebration, not for lying low;
You too — weed out those roots of sadness from your heart.
The Sabaa wind arrives;
and in deep resonance, the flower
passionately rips open its garments,
thrusting itself from itself.
The Way of Truth, learn from the clarity of water,
Learn freedom from the spreading grass.
Pay close attention to the artistry of the Sabaa wind,
that wafts in pollen from afar,
And ripples the beautiful tresses
of the fields of hyacinth flowers.
From the privacy of the harem, the virgin bud slips out,
revealing herself under the morning star,
branding your heart and your faith
And frenzied bulbul flies madly out of the House of Sadness
to unite with the flowers;
its love-crazed cry like a thousand-trumpet blast.
Hafiz says, and the experienced old ones concur:
All you really need
is to tell those Stories
of the Fair Ones and the Goblet of Wine.
English version by Homayun Taba & Marguerite Theophil
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