Exquisite, essential, not only the indelible poems of Hafiz to settle and restore your soul, but images to awaken your deepest seeing.Feast upon this glorious book!
—Naomi Shihab Nye
This exquisite volume encourages us to “Be glad, because every perfect thing is on its way to non-existence.” What a relief! The Greens have outdone themselves with a sublime blend of beauteous, universal, sacred imagery, which conveys what is “a thousand times higher than the house of reason.”
Hafiz asks, “Is there a need for appeal when we’re already with The Generous?” Hafiz further requests, “Fill me with your love for being Awake.” Would that all of our hearts had no other desire but to be Awake! These souls, this group of Friends, in our age, who have translated the master, help us all to travel beyond “the house of reason” back in to the arms of The One.
—Gray Henry, an admirer from Fons Vitae
Hafez, and all these fine people! Quite a party.
“Hafiz is without peer!” exclaimed Goethe. Known as “The Tongue of the Hidden Mysteries,” Shams al-Din Muhammad Hafiz of Shiraz is the most revered of Persian poets. When the Sun of Infinite Reality dawned in his being, he poured forth mystic verse so sublime it touched the hearts of kings and commoners alike.
Hafiz’s poems of intimate divine love spread through the East in his lifetime, then into the West, influencing such luminaries as Emerson, Brahms, Queen Victoria, Nietzsche, and Garcia Lorca. In the early 1900s, Hazrat Inayat Khan, who brought Sufism and the ideal of the unity of religions to the West, said Hafiz’s mission was spread the news that the presence of God is not to be found only in heaven, but also here on earth.
Today, nearly 700 years after his death, the unmatched genius and bold wit of Hafiz continues to ignite hearts and intoxicate souls everywhere.
The Illuminated Hafiz brings together vivid translations by Coleman Barks, Robert Bly, Omid Safi, Meher Baba, Peter Booth, and others with the luminous art of Michael and Sally Green, weaving them into a stunning contemporary presentation in the tradition of classical Persian illuminated manuscripts and unveiling the mysteries of the path of love.
Come, raise a cup! Join Hafiz and his incomparable love poems in a holy revel on the journey into light.
There is this matter
of the light in my eyes.
If you want to know the Friend,
don’t expect elegant arguments!
Demand a blessing
from one who gives you joy.
—Hafiz (tr. Barks)
Rare, indeed, when artistic image so passionately weds heaven-sent spirit word, but here it is! Michael and Saliha Green’s exquisite illustrations make you pause in awe. Together in divine conspiracy with Hafiz’s wisdom, we readers are catapulted into the seventh heaven.
—Rebecca Hoffberger, Founder/Director, American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore
TO PRE-ORDER THE BOOK. Please go to http://trade.soundstrue.com for wholesale consideration. In the US, toll-free phone orders: 888-330-8477
For more information, you can go to Michael Green’s author’s page on Amazon. For media inquiries, review copies or to request an interview, contact: Nick Small at Sounds True • email@example.com.
OF OUR CONTRIBUTORS AND TRANSLATORS
This book was—and still is—a cooperative venture, and we are very grateful for the effort of so many in bringing forth the message of one of the world’s greatest mystic poets.
We are thankful for Professor's Safi's gentle reorientation, and Peter Booth's fluency in Farsi and deep scholarship (study at Harvard with Annemarie Schimmel, later in Iran), that return Hafiz to his Persian Islamic roots where readers might find a richer, more authentic understanding. This book couldn’t have been done without editor Nancy Barton’s lucid curation.
Jonathan Granoff, who provides such beautiful commentary for The Illuminated Hafiz, will be available for interviews, as well as book readings with music and lively conversation.
That the poetry of the great Persian mystics Rumi and Hafiz is so popular in the U.S., as well as beloved in every household in Iran, demonstrates that these two timeless messengers of hope and peace are still building bridges between peoples and cultures.
Jonathan will introduce us to the genius of Hafiz who was immersed in the remembrance of God, yet stayed fully engaged with the realities and vicissitudes of life here on earth. His gift was to lift everyone up, sinner and saint, with the beauty, wit and humor of his words, persuading them to go beyond the limits of their minds—to catch a glimpse of the grandeur of their own souls. And this work continues still . . .
Dr. Omid Safi
Dr. Safi, scholar and author of Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Traditions, is a frequent columnist for On Being. He graciously provided both an insightful introduction to Hafiz, and as a native Farsi speaker, he has brought forth some exquisite translations. Thank you, Omid-jan! He’ll be leading a retreat on Radical Love: The Legacy of the Prophetic Traditions, at Mercy By The Sea on October 25-27th.
Omid Safi leads spiritual tours every year to Turkey, Morocco, or other countries, to study the rich multiple religious traditions there. The trips are open to everyone, from every country. More information is available at Illuminated Tours.
He is director of Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center. He specializes in the study of Islamic mysticism and contemporary Islam and frequently writes on liberationist traditions of Dr. King, Malcolm X, and is committed to traditions that link together love and justice.
Omid is the past chair for the Study of Islam at the American Academy of Religion. He has written many books, including Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism; Cambridge Companion to American Islam; Politics of Knowledge in Premodern Islam; and Memories of Muhammad. His forthcoming book is on the famed mystic Rumi.
Omid is among the most frequently sought out speakers on Islam in popular media, appearing in The New York Times, Newsweek, Washington Post, PBS, NPR, NBC, CNN, other international media. He can be reached regarding speaking engagements at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peter Booth received his B.A. in English Literature from Bard College and studied Persian Language and Literature at the graduate school of Harvard University. In 1977-8, on a scholarship from the Shah of Iran, he studied Persian Literature at Ferdowsi University in Mashhad. He was a resident for 32 years in Avatar Meher Baba’s Home, “Meherabad” in rural India. He is co-author of Hafiz/Dante: Readings on the Sigh, the Gaze, and Beauty.
Coleman Barks was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and educated at the University of North Carolina and the University of California at Berkeley. He taught poetry and creative writing at the University of Georgia for thirty years. He is the author of numerous Rumi translations and has been a student of Sufism since 1977. His work with Rumi was the subject of an hour-long segment in Bill Moyers's Language of Life series on PBS, and he is a featured poet and translator in Bill Moyers's poetry special, "Fooling with Words." Coleman Barks is the father of two grown children and the grandfather of five. He lives in Athens, Georgia.
In his numerous roles as groundbreaking poet, editor, translator, storyteller, and father of what he has called "the expressive men's movement," Bly remains one of the most hotly debated American artists of the past half century. What is it about Bly and his ideas that inspires such impassioned responses from readers and associates? The psychologist Robert Moore believes that "When the cultural and intellectual history of our time is written, Robert Bly will be recognized as the catalyst for a sweeping cultural revolution." And literary critic Charles Molesworth suggests that some of Bly's importance and complication lies in the fact that he "writes religious meditations for a public that is no longer ostensibly religious."
The trailer to A Thousand Years of Joy by the wonderful filmaker Haydn Reiss.
Robert Cameron Smith
When our friend Rob Smith is not raising his arms in celebration and ecstasy, he and Taylor are busy serving humanity. Rob serves as Senior Advisor for Fundraising and Partnerships for the Permanent Secretariat of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates. He is Founder of ICV; a partner of Merchant Liquidity Fund; a member of the Board of Directors and Finance Committee of the Harmon Foundation; a member of the Board of Trustees of the Children’s Village; a member of the Board of Directors of Childhood Cancer Kids; and, Special Economic Adviser to Earth’s Call.
Favorite quote: “Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Permanent Secretariat of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates
Galleria Piazza Cavalli 7b, Piacenza, PC 29121
Nancy Owen Barton
Nancy Owen Barton, the genius musical director of our lovely heavenly Hafiz choir, previously collaborated with translator Daniel Ladinsky on his most recent bestselling book, The Purity of Desire:100 Poems of Rumi.
Now a freelance editor, literary agent and writer/poet, Nancy loves the refuge of merging movement play with music, silence, and spoken word.
We are Witness, for proposed Afterculture Installation
Michael Green is making art within a new global context. It is born as an intuitive, archaic response to the spiritual need at the core of the formidable social, economic and environmental challenges we face today. His work follows what he calls the River of Sanity—a luminous, clear, loving source of inspiration and creativity that runs through all faiths and cultures, adapting and incorporating wherever it goes. Surfacing from time to time, particularly in the archetypal world of traditional and sacred arts, it sometimes reveals the hidden source lying just beneath surface appearances.