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9780140195811

The Gift

Hafiz Author

9780140195811: The Gift

Chosen by author Elizabeth Gilbert as one of her ten favorite books, Daniel Ladinsky’s extraordinary renderings of 250 unforgettable lyrical poems by Hafiz, one of the greatest Sufi poets of all time

More than any other Persian poet even Rumi Hafiz expanded the mystical, healing dimensions of poetry. Because his poems were often ecstatic love songs from God to his beloved world, many have called Hafiz the "Invisible Tongue." Indeed, Daniel Ladinsky has said that his work with Hafiz is an attempt to do the impossible: to render Light into words to make the Luminous Resonance of God tangible to our finite senses.

I am
a hole in a flute
that the Christ's breath moves
through

listen to this
music!


With this stunning collection of Hafiz's most intimate poems, Ladinsky has succeeded brilliantly in presenting the essence of one of Islam's greatest poetic and religious voices. Each line of The Gift imparts the wonderful qualities of this master Sufi poet and spiritual teacher: encouragement, an audacious love that touches lives, profound knowledge, generosity, and a sweet, playful genius unparalleled in world literature.

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Review:

Hafiz, a secret Sufi, came to prominence in his day as a writer of love poems. That love transformed into an all-consuming passion for union with the divine. In The Gift, Daniel Ladinsky bestows on us the impassioned yet whimsical strains of Hafiz's ecstasy. Never forced or awkward, Ladinsky's Hafiz whispers in your ear and pounds in your chest, naming God in a hundred metaphors.

I once asked a bird,
"How is it that you fly in this gravity
Of darkness?"
She responded,
"Love lifts
Me."
Like Fitzgerald's version of Khayyam's Rubaiyat, the language of The Gift strikes a contemporary chord, resonating in the reader's mind and then in the heart. Ladinsky's language is plain, fresh, playful--dancing with an expert cadence that invites and surprises. If it is true, as Hafiz says, that a poet is someone who can pour light into a cup, reading Ladinsky's Hafiz is like gulping down the sun. --Brian Bruya

About the Author:

Daniel Ladinsky has published three previous translations of Hafiz's poems, The Gift, The Subject Tonight Is Love, and I Heard God Laughing, as well as a collection of translations of poems by twelve mystics and saints, Love Poems From God. His most recent collection is The Purity of Desire: 100 Poems of Rumi. For six years, he made his home in a spiritual community in western India, where he worked and lived with the intimate disciples and family of Avatar Meher Baba. He lives in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

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