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.
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.