Forever Under Construction

Persian Literature & The West – IV

Posted in Iran, Literature, Persian literature, Poetry by homeyra on November 26, 2006

For Nietzsche Hafez represents a prime example of ‘Dionysian’ ecstatic wisdom which he extols so extensively in his philosophy. The number of references to Hafez in his writings are considerable. The name of Hafez, usually in the company of Goethe, appears about ten times in his writings. He admires both as summits of human wisdom. For him Hafez exemplifies the Oriental free-spirit man celebrating joys of life as well as its sufferings. Nietzsche commends such an attitude as sign of a positive and courageous valuation of life. There is even a short poem in Nietzsche’s Collected Works, entitled An Hafis. Frage eines Wassertrinkers -To Hafez: Questions of a Water Drinker. The poem glorifies the insightfulness of Hafez and his poetical achievements. At the end, he asks Hafez, as a ‘water drinker’, why he demands wine while having the power of making intoxicated everybody.

Hafez and Mowlavi (Rumi) both have verses concerning the need to create a “Real Man”:

A real Man cannot be found in our earthly world,
We should make a new world and a new
Man. Hafez

Yester night a Sheikh was seeking with a lamp all over the town,
Stating that he was tired of devils and wild beasts and was looking for a Man.
I told him that we have already searched everywhere for him, he could not be found
He said I am looking for that who could not be found
. Mowlavi

Sources in Part I – Part II, III

4 Responses

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  1. naj said, on November 26, 2006 at 11:06 pm

    This a great project you have started Homeyra.
    I thought you might be interested in this Rumi on Fire
    I discovered it some 7 years ago, they have good translations, in my view.

  2. homeyra said, on November 28, 2006 at 9:23 am

    Thanx for the link Naj, indeed I was looking for good translations.

  3. joojeh said, on November 28, 2006 at 10:34 am

    much of the meaning was, alas, lost in poor translation…
    not that i can do much better, alas… but here goes:
    Yeserday (in broad daylight) the Old Man was searching the town with a lamp:
    Disgusted beyond endurance of demons and beasts, searching for Man,
    Others said you will not find, we have searched,
    Old man said I am seeking he who cannot be found.

  4. […] See Part IV, Sources in Part I […]


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