Poem-A-Day: Hafiz (Persia/Iran)

A second poem for you today (which will bring me to being caught up from my missed days earlier in the month) —

Here’s another poem from the collection Mala of the Heart, which remains one of my favorite books of meditative poetry ever. (Thanks again, Nicole!) This poem is by Hafiz of Persia (now Iran). Instead of my interpretation or response to the poem, though, this time I would love to read your responses to it in the comments below. What does it make you think of? Share an anecdote it reminds you of.

all this time
the sun never says to the earth,

“You owe me.”
Look what happens
with a love like that–
it lights the whole


Hafiz (ca. 1320-1389) was born in the garden city of Shiraz. It is said that after the early death of his father, Hafiz worked for a bakery, where he caught sight of Shakh-e Nabat, whose incredible beauty moved him to write and sing of his love for her. During a forty-night vigil to win this girl’s love, Hafiz had a vision of an angel, whose beauty led Hafiz to realize that God was infinitely more beautiful than any human form. The angel revealed where Hafiz could find a spiritual master. Hafiz then met and became a disciple of Attar of Shiraz, who led Hafiz to union with God. Like other great Sufi poets, Hafiz employed imagery to express his longing and love for the divine.

This biographical information is quoted from Mala of the Heart.

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