In 1972, browsing the dusty poetry shelves at Holmes Used Bookstore in Oakland, California, pulled out a thin volume entitled The Tongue of the Hidden. This was a thrilling moment. Meher Baba, whose Love I had recenly encountered for the first time, had referred to Hafiz, the Persian Sufi Master who lived in the 13th century, as "the greatest poet who's ever lived"! Yet there were scarcely any English translations of Hafiz available in those days.
Now, of course, the picture is much different. My friend Daniel Ladinsky, an old comrade from the St. Louis Meher Baba group, has published three books of his "renderings" of Hafiz poems. One of them, The Gift, has at times been the best-selling poetry book in America! The West has turned to the East for Wisdom, and wisely so!
Hafiz' Divan continues to be used as an oracle, as well as an Inspiration, in Iran and elsewhere in the Muslim world. This phenomenon is an expression of just how revered the poet is. In fact, Meher Baba confirmed that Hafiz, in the latter part of his life, became a Perfect Master (or "Qutub", which means "Hub of the Universe"). Thus his earlier poems sublimely express the joys, longings, tribulations of the Spiritual Path, and his later ones express Perfection and perfect Guidance for those still traversing the Path.
Here is a link to a wonderful, comprehensive Hafiz site
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