14th-century poet to the rescue

Ralph Waldo Emerson called Hafiz "a poet for poets."

Emerson called Hafiz "a poet for poets."

Today’s Charm School Break is sponsored by the 14th century.

The Persian poet Hafiz was born about 100 years after the better-known Rumi. They both wrote mystical love poems, but Hafiz is slightly more surreal.

His work has this odd mix of earthly references and heavenly insights – the effect is jarring and undeniably joyful. Here’s an excerpt from one of my favorites, Of Course Things Like That Can Happen:

The sun rolls through
The sky meadows every day,
And a billion cells run
To the top of a leaf to scream and applaud
And smash things in their joy.

Of course things like that can happen.

Rivers stay up all night and chant;
Luminous fish jump out of the water
Spitting emeralds at all talk of Heaven
Being anywhere else but – Right Here!

Clouds pull each other’s pants down
And point and laugh.

O my dear,
Of course things like that can happen.

Light stretches its arms
Open even more
And shouts to you, because you are His lover,
To forget your harsh actions of the past
And just Dance!

Oh my … the Charm Marm certainly would not approve of clouds pulling each other’s pants down. She wouldn’t likely encourage the little girlies in her charge to forget their harsh actions of the past and just dance, either. So I’d much rather have a holiday meal with Hafiz, who both inspires and reassures me. Here’s to getting medieval on the Charm Marm.

I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy, $10.20 at Amazon.com


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