Hafiz (Daniel Ladinsky)
US (1945? - ) Timeline
Muslim / Sufi

Poems by Hafiz (Daniel Ladinsky)
Books - Links

People sometimes wonder why I don't feature more of Hafiz's poetry from Daniel Ladinsky's book, The Gift. They are such delightful, ecstatic, irreverent poems that have inspired so many people...

Ladinsky's books put me in an awkward spot. I really like the poetry from Ladinsky's books... but, well, they aren't actually by Hafiz. His collection of poetry entitled The Gift: Poems by Hafiz the Great Sufi Master actually contains no lines of poetry written by the great Sufi poet Hafiz!

Daniel Ladinsky seems to acknowledge this in his introduction to the book, when he writes, "I feel my relationship to Hafiz defies all reason... I had an astounding dream in which I saw Hafiz as an Infinite Fountaining Sun (I saw him as God), who sang hundreds of lines of his poetry to me in English, asking me to give that message to 'my artists and seekers.'"

You might say that Ladinsky's poetry is "inspired by" Hafiz. Or, if you prefer a broader interpretation, you could say Ladinsky channels Hafiz. But his "translations" are not the historical writings of Hafiz. From the more limited scholar's definition, these are poems by Daniel Ladinsky, not Hafiz.

So here's what I do: I enjoy Ladinsky's playful, profound poetry, but I look to other books to savor the historical poetry of Hafiz that Sufis and seekers have delighted in for centuries.

If you'd like to explore and compare them, here are some links to start with:

- More of Ladinsky's Hafiz
- Historical Hafiz.

Poems by Hafiz (Daniel Ladinsky)

Recommended Books: Hafiz (Daniel Ladinsky)

The Gift: Poems by Hafiz the Great Sufi Master Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West The Subject Tonight Is Love: 60 Wild and Sweet Poems of Hafiz I Heard God Laughing: Renderings of Hafiz

Related Links

Murat Nemet-Nejat on Daniel Ladinsky's Hafiz

A brief article that points out how the poetry in Ladinsky's The Gift may be inspired by Hafiz, but it is not based on the actual writings of Hafiz.