A beautiful mystical poem from Hafiz: Raj Ayyar

There are so many gifts
Still unopened from your birthday,
There are so many hand-crafted presents
That have been sent to you by God.
The Beloved does not mind repeating: ‘Everything I have is yours.’
Please forgive Hafiz and the Friend if we break into a sweet laughter when your heart complains.
Ages ago every cell in your soul
Capsized forever into this infinite golden sea.
Indeed a lover’s pain is this sleeping,
When God just rolled over and gave you
Such a big good morning kiss!
–Hafiz tr. Daniel Ladinsky in ‘The Gift: Poems By Hafiz’ (Penguin).
Hafiz is underrated and eclipsed by Jalaluddin Rumi. Even virulently Islamophobic discourses and persons, adore Rumi. Whereas, Hafiz is the underrated Sufi, the forever second fiddle to Mevlana Rumi.
The first lines are priceless: the need for loving appreciation of the many unopened gifts and hand-crafted presents from the divine Beloved/Friend.
However, many of us whine and complain about what we don’t have, as opposed to gratitude for the many unopened gifts and hand-crafted presents–our talents, our bodies, our fluid genders and sexualities, our laughter and our love–to mention a few.
Hafiz goes on to talk about every metaphorical cell ‘of the soul’. capsized in the golden sea of divine love ages ago.
The last lines are unrivaled in literature–I cannot think of anyone except for Rumi and Rilke who communicate such easy intimacy with God so fluently and well.
Cute metaphor: the Beloved rolling over in bed to give us a good morning kiss–fast asleep in our own separateness and self-pity, we don’t feel it!

–Raj Ayyar

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