Love gets tired of speaking sweetly

This week I’ve been discovering and rediscovering poetry by Hafiz, the legendary Sufi mystic poet.  On Valentine’s Day, a day of celebration and longing, sentiment and hunger, I wanted to share this one:

(translator is Daniel Landinsky; links to his books to come)

Love wants to reach out and manhandle us,

Break all our teacup talk of God.

If you had the courage and

Could give the Beloved His choice, some nights,

He would just drag you around the room

By your hair,

Ripping from your grip all those toys in the world

That bring you no joy.


Love sometimes gets tired of speaking sweetly

And wants to rip to shreds

All your erroneous notions of truth


That make you fight within yourself, dear one,

And with others,


Causing the world to weep

On too many fine days.


God wants to manhandle us,

Lock us inside of a tiny room with Himself

And practice His dropkick.


The Beloved sometimes wants

To do us a great favor:


Hold us upside down

And shake all the nonsense out.


But when we hear

He is in such a “playful drunken mood”

Most everyone I know

Quickly packs their bags and hightails it

Out of town.

 

 

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