The Poems of Hafez Paperback – January 1, 2005
Enhance your purchase
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
appear much more accurate than previous English versions and yet
still make sense to the reader. So, I highly recommend The Poems of
Hafez to academic and public libraries. --Journal of the Middle East Librarians Association
From the Publisher
- Publisher : IBEX Publishers (January 1, 2005)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 277 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1588140199
- ISBN-13 : 978-1588140197
- Item Weight : 11.1 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.75 x 7.5 inches
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
No, these are solidly Hafez, but also musically poetry, and for decades of wondering about him, loving him from afar and through really corrigated glass, I find this book satisfies as no other has before.
I've heard that in Iran people open Hafez the way one casts astrology charts or throws an I Ching reading, so I've been doing that with this book from time to time, not necessarily with superstitious seriousness, but still, at a certain poem randomly thumbed, lines pop out and images resonate the way a good consciousness-booster does, with Tarot cards or those roadside psychic readings (no, I've never had one).
Plus, we get the luxurious meanings, now cast in poetry-friendly English, and sometimes reaching real poetry in themselves, with only a few infelicitous moments here and there, which strike me as being the best one can do in English with a frantically difficult meaning in Farsi, for which Hafez is so famous. Even Persians may not quite understand his drift, even though taxi drivers may quote him at length today!
I highly recommend this beautifully published book, with decal edges and everything. My only reservation is that the concordance with the original Persian text could have also referred us to the Wilberforce Clarke page numbers for a more indepth reading, since he goes into multiple meanings for some of the words... But this is truly a minor and even persnickity criticism.
So dive in and taste the deep wine of Hafez' amazing spiritual songs, afresh and faithful for the first time.
So there are a number of people who have failed: Reza Saberi translated all of Hafez into English, but was hamstrung by his weak command of the English language; Gertrude Bell had a try at it, and wound up with something sounding like Victorian romantic poetry; A. J. Arberry published some "decent" translations by many hands. Most recently, Peter Avery is the latest to try his hand at "the impossible."
This particular translation is helpful in that it includes a big chunk of Hafez, but less helpful in that it simply doesn't translate most of the difficult terms, but plunks them into the English. The average English reader has absolutely no clue what a "naa-Darvish" might be, much less what it means that the term is deployed ironically.
Still, I think that progress is being made. I can understand not even trying to translate some of the most difficult terms: how would you translate "quark" into Swahili? But what we really need is a well-written introduction that clearly explains the strange world and the strange metaphors of Hafez.
After that, may the best translator win!
DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK!
Dr. Ordoubadian includes an introduction which deals with some of the difficulties of translating Iranian poetry into English poetry. His examples, however, are all from Hafez, which is good for the serious student of Persian poetry, but much more difficult for the lay reader. I give below an example of the difficulty of translating poetry, which I hope will be easier for the rest of us to understand. It is from a poem written in a language MUCH more closely related to English, and involves no problems of cultural difference. The middle lines, labeled LITERAL, show how someone with a German-English dictionary and little actual knowledge of German might translate it, e.g., translating Das kommt as `The comes' instead of `It comes.' The translation labeled POETIC expresses, in good English, what Heinrich Heine expressed so beautifully in German, AND it scans properly in iambic trimeter, like Heine's.
GERMAN: . Ein .Marchen . aus alten Zeiten
LITERAL: . .One picture . .out of . old times
POETIC: A . scene . . . from .olden times
GERMAN: .Das kommt . mir . .nicht . aus . . dem .Sinn
LITERAL: . The comes .to me . .not . out of . the . mind
POETIC: . . .Keeps running thru my mind.
This is what Dr. Ordoubadian has attempted, with considerable success, to do with the poetry of Hafez. I expect that this translation, or maybe a later edition thereof, perhaps with more of the 486 ghazals of the Khanlari edition translated, will become the recognized standard of excellence for English renderings of Hafez, and will be a significant factor in bringing Hafez to the world-wide audience he deserves..
Top reviews from other countries
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 20, 2017
EXCELLENT EXPLANATIONS OF FORMATTING AND TRANSLATIONS AND POSSIBLE ALTERNATE MEANINGS .