A Poem for Today, and Everyday

 

 

Tripping Over Joy 

 What is the difference

Between your experience of Existence

And that of a saint?

 The saint knows

That the spiritual path

Is a sublime chess game with God

And that the beloved

Has just made such a Fantastic Move

That the saint is now continually

Tripping over Joy

And bursting out in Laughter

And saying, “I Surrender!”

Whereas, my dear,

I am afraid you still think

 You have a thousand serious moves.

~ Hafiz

translation by Daniel Ladinsky

Hafiz was born in Shiraz in south-east Persia (modern Iran) in approximately 1320 A.D., twenty two years before the birth of Chaucer and a year before the death of Dante. He was named Shams-ud-din, which means 'Sun of Faith,' Mohammed. Later when he began to write poetry he selected Hafiz for his pen-name or 'takhallus'. 'Hafiz' is the title given to one who has learnt the whole of the Koran by heart and Hafiz claimed to have done this is fourteen different ways.