Sunday, 18 September 2016

Book #45

The Nightingales are Drunk by Hafez

Sensual, profound, delighted, wise, Hafez's poems have enchanted their readers for more than 600 years. One of the greatest figures of world literature, he remains today the most popular poet in modern Iran. 

In this collection of poems, Hafez focuses on three things I have found myself to be very well acquainted with: love, heartbreak, and wine. 

I will go on to proclaim myself a poetry dunce, as I do in most of my poetry reviews. I can't seem to get in touch with the rhythm and flow (something that also affects my dancing), although I am able to appreciate the words and sentiment. These seemed a bit clunky, which I am confident is completely down to the translation; the originals, I'm sure, are a much better read.

Hafez's musings on the three most impactful things in life are both heavy and light in beautiful ways. His commentary surprised me; his thinking as a man of the 14th century similar to my own in the present day (especially on the powers of wine). I particularly enjoyed his referrals to himself in third person, as though he were either guiding himself through life, or chastising his own behaviour; something I have used as a self-help tactic on more than one occasion.

Despite my idiocy in line and verse, I consume poetry now for the feelings it evokes in me. Not all of these poems evoked anything at all, but when they did, it was nothing but understanding, approval, and complete awe. A worthwhile inclusion in the LBC range, and yet another attempt to acclimatise myself to the wonders of poetry under my belt. 

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