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I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy Paperback – September 26, 2006


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I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy + The Gift + The Subject Tonight Is Love: 60 Wild and Sweet Poems of Hafiz (Compass)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“If you haven’t yet had the delight of dining with Daniel Ladinsky’s sweet, playful renderings of the musings of the great saints, I Heard God Laughing is a perfect appetizer.... This newly released edition of his first playful foray into Hafiz’s divinely inspired poetry is essential reading . . . . Ladinsky is a master who will be remembered for finally bringing Hafiz alive in the West.” —Alexandra Marks, The Christian Science Monitor

From the Back Cover

"If you haven’t yet had the delight of dining with Daniel Ladinsky’s sweet, playful renderings of the musings of the great saints, I Heard God Laughing is a perfect appetizer. . . . This newly released edition of his first playful foray into Hafiz’s divinely inspired poetry is essential reading . . . . Ladinsky is a master who will be remembered for finally bringing Hafiz alive in the West."
—Alexandra Marks, The Christian Science Monitor
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (September 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143037811
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143037811
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.3 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Barton on July 24, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So much Beauty! Hafiz is pure joy and a perfect friend. For Hafiz, Only Love is Real.

I Heard God Laughing, in continuous print for the past eleven years, serves as a beacon of pure light, trueing our compass on our journey to God. In these brilliant, deeply tender, witty, and full hearted renderings, Ladinsky releases the true spirit of this most beloved Persian poet and spiritual teacher and makes him fully accessible to our times.

Hafiz has influenced and nourished many writers, poets and scholars through the centuries, including Nietzsche, Byron, Hugo, Lorca, Goethe and Emerson.
If you're interested in knowing more about some of these eminent poets own words about translations/renderings read on, below, following these gems....

Your Beautiful Parched Holy Mouth

A poet is someone
Who can pour Light into a cup,
Then raise it
To nourish
Your beautiful, parched, holy mouth.

an excerpt from " A Golden Compass"

Forget every idea of right and wrong
Any classroom ever taught you,

Because
An empty heart, a tormented mind,
Unkindness, jealousy and fear

Are always the testimony
You have been completely fooled!

Turn your back on those
Who would imprison your wondrous spirit
With deceit and lies.

Come, join the honest company
Of the King's beggars--
Those gamblers, scoundrels and divine clowns
And those astonishing fair courtesans
Who need Divine Love every night.

Come, join the courageous
Who have no choice
But to bet their entire world
That indeed,
Indeed, God is Real.....
Read more ›
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57 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Higgins on June 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
People should be aware that Daniel Ladinsky writes his own original poems, which are inspired by Hafiz, and then calls them "poems by Hafiz". Ladinsky does not translate Hafiz, and his poems do not resemble the legitimate works of Hafiz. THIS IS NOT A COLLECTION OF HAFIZ. They are beautiful poems in their own right, but they are marketed under a deceptive pretense. By all means, read the poems that Hafiz actually wrote.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Zoeeagleeye VINE VOICE on February 28, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read other translators of Hafiz, Rumi, etc. and while I do not speak the original language, I cannot imagine a more truthful and present-time translation of Hafiz totally in keeping with the spirit of his words. I am a poet myself and the good ones make meanings that transcend their own words. Ladinsky taps into Hafiz's meanings and the joy that bubbles up from it is contagious. Every single poem makes Hafiz's spirit come alive garbed in bright shiny eyes and compassionate heart -- looking right at you. It is said that in Arab countries the average person on the street can and will quote Hafiz by heart. You need crucial images to do that. A humdrum or more accurate interpretation in English will not stick to the ears nor the heart. How's this for memorable lines:

"You better start kissing me -- or else!"

"You don't have to act crazy anymore --
We all know you were good at that."

"The stars get clearly drunk
And crazy at night
And throw themselves
Across the sky."

"I know the way you can get
When you have not had a drink of Love."

"Do you know how beautiful you are?
I think not, my dear.
Yet Hafiz could set you upon a Stage
And worship you forever!"

"I have a thousand brilliant lies
For the question, How are you?"

And finally,
"A poet is someone
Who can pour Light into a spoon,
Then raise it to nourish
Your beautiful parched, holy mouth."

If God is the Light and Hafiz is the spoon, then Daniel Ladinsky is the one holding you upright to receive the gift.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Antonia Nelson on January 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
I Heard God Laughing, a wonderful book, who could imagine Hafiz from the l4th century would touch us all. The poems can be read over and over and I find I fall deeper and deeper into them, their beauty and love come through in Landinsky's translations. I highly recommend the books, also recommend " The Subject Tonight is Love", and "Love Poems from God" all by Landinsky. I can't say enough about the beauty of his translations, a masterful job he has done.

For anyone wanting to go deeper into relationship with yourself, a partner, etc, turn off the tv, and open one of Landinsky's books and read to your Beloved........it's very sweet, and afterall, isn't that why we are here, to be in relationship and dialogue with each other.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By darvish khan on May 25, 2014
Format: Paperback
Translation is complicated in that the veracity of the work must be taken on faith if one does not know the original language. Thus good translators are careful to account for their approach to the craft and take seriously the need to educate their readership. This is especially the case with languages and traditions that are removed from European cultural experience and when translated for an English speaking public which is often monolingual.

Unfortunately, such is not the case with the several publications of Daniel Ladinsky that variously purport to be either translations or versions of the great and inimitable Hafez of Shiraz. Hafez is treasured by Persian speakers as the greatest poet of what is perhaps the world's greatest poetic tradition. To misrepresent him so blatantly, thoroughly and consistently over time as Ladinsky has done, is breathtaking. His work in "translation" does not represent the ghazal form, is not based on the Persian text and can not be referred to extant English translations and versions.

The ghazal in Persian commonly has anywhere from seven to fourteen couplets with an aa, ba, ca, da etc rhyme scheme. The poet "signs" his ghazal with a pen name. Each Persian line in English translation has, on average, about fourteen syllables. The following is my translation of a Hafezian ghazal to illustrate structure, rhyme and typical themes:

Ghazal #332, Khanlari

Although I seethe like a vat of wine from love's ferment,
I drink blood with sealed lips that keep me silent.

It is the soul's resolve to possess the beloved's lips;
Look at me, whose struggle with soul has left me spent!
Read more ›
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