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A Year with Hafiz: Daily Contemplations Paperback – Deckle Edge, November 2, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Daniel Ladinsky has published four collections of poems by the great Sufi poet Hafiz: A Year with Hafiz, The Gift, The Subject Tonight Is Love, and I Heard God Laughing. 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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 10.3.2011 edition (November 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143117548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143117544
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hafiz of Shiraz was widely regarded as an infidel in his day. Today he is recognized in the East not only for the excellence of his poetry, but also as a Sufi illuminate. His major work, The Diwan, is found beside the Koran in the homes of the devout. In the West, Hafiz--a contemporary of Dante--is admired for his love-poetry; Goethe, among others, acknowledged his influence.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By W. A. Mathieu on November 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
A Year With Hafiz: Daily Contemplations, by Daniel Ladinsky
Reviewed by W. A. Mathieu

There are just a few books that give the gift of insight at each reading, each touch; A Year With Hafiz: Daily Contemplations is my favorite new one among them. It is presented as a day book: a poem on each page for each date throughout the year. The poetry is tethered in oneness, firmly fixed in sacred covenant, yet at the same time rooted in the human condition of wild mind and chaotic phenomena -- creative madness within the laws of love. The poems may be grounded in heaven but on earth they are loose cannons. In A Year With Hafiz, this grounded madness happens in each poem on each page. Whatever today's date, let this day be sanctified and wild. And such guidance comes from a book you're happy to hold in your hand. The print edition is particularly attractive, with an embossed cover and rough-cut pages.

Ladinsky's bold use of modern idioms and references gives the reader a sense that the poems, though clearly from an ancient time, arise from our quotidian lives. With an Aikido-like grace, the energy is flipped from then to now. Hafiz and Ladinsky seem to be authentic partners across time.

Now be honest with me, Gentle Customer-Review Reader, isn't there only so much wisdom teaching a body can use? If you try to pack it in, doesn't most of it go stale and get tossed, like stuff in an overfull fridge? A Year With Hafiz metes out wisdom so you can let it cook and cool, and then internalize it at your leisure. Then it's the next day, and you're hungry again, and you're chewing on something delicious again.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By luleen anderson on November 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
Over the years I have read and cherished each of Daniel Ladinsky's books on Hafiz. His latest, A Year With Hafiz, is beautifully crafted and reflects the creative genius displayed in all Ladinsky's renderings of Hafiz. Ladinsky knows and understands his subject. And each rendering is beautifully presented, often with laugh-out-loud humor, and always with reverence and humility.
This work is truly inspirational. Read it and your life will be touched in unimaginably wonderful ways.

Luleen S. Anderson, Ph.D.
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful By MysticJaguar VINE VOICE on January 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
Sorry, I have to disagree with reviewers who love this book and with the author.

I do find it odd to consider that extracting Hafiz totally out of his culture and into ours would have a chance of being any kind of authentic transmission.

Perhaps we would find it amusing to read, as on p 19, of Hafiz jesting about going down on someone or making out in a car as some faint glimmers of the divine revelations that he had. But for me this 'adaptation' does not work. It is disingenuous like so many books on 'Tantra' and 'Yoga' which twist the original into the dull understandings of most of us in the West who want it our way now.

Hafiz was a great man, his writings lofty and warm, ironic, and hilarious. But this book leaves it as a bad hollywood version. Those who know of Sufism or the spirit of Hafiz will find little to like in this book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C. Ingersoll on March 4, 2013
Format: Paperback
If you read the reviews of Ladinsky's various "renderings" of Hafiz, you will find some that believe he is a "spiritual opportunist," primarily because they have issue with how Mr. Ladinsky interprets Hafiz in a very loose manner. Essentially they're saying: "He's veering wildly from the text." This is true, in a sense. These ain't literal interpretations. Yet I would call them brilliant where it counts most. When I read the daily rendering, I am almost always inspired, grounded, elevated and have a great start on being a better, more conscious person for the day. And, bottom line, is that not what I would most want from this book? To me, I can emphatically say YES! I am not hung up on the critical aspects of authenticity, I am far more benefitted from the outcomes and effects of Ladinsky's inspired interpretations. If these are interpretations or if they were created completely out of new cloth, they'd still be brilliant.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Glenda Fields on May 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Suddenly Hafiz is a modern day, hip, slick, sarcastic, vulgar, Dude-like,Saint who doesn't mind throwing the 'F' word around, like it's ambrosia from above? I sure hope not! In my opinion, Ladinsky translates this book, like he suddenly hates Hafiz.

Sorry, but I like the old style translations, Where renderings of the Saints and Mystics was approached with awe and reverence.Those translations clearly presented the deepest teachings of the old masters and sages. They lovingly captured Spiritual Wisdom,in every word, and they revealed the Hidden Mystery's only the mystic and his/her poetry could uncover. What to say, the old fashioned, heart stirring,insights which could alter our thinking and influence our lives so, we are changed for the better, forever.

There are a few good pieces in "A Year With Hafiz", however, for me, I am having to dig through the book's Daily Contemplations to find them.

This said, I do love Ladinsky's, "The Gift". ...So what happened?

Favorable note: The book cover is attractive and the paper is awesome.
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