I Know The Way You Can Get

I know the way you can get
When you have not had a drink of Love:

Your face hardens,
Your sweet muscles cramp.
Children become concerned
About a strange look that appears in your eyes
Which even begins to worry your own mirror
And nose.

Squirrels and birds sense your sadness
And call an important conference in a tall tree.
They decide which secret code to chant
To help your mind and soul.

Even angels fear that brand of madness
That arrays itself against the world
And throws sharp stones and spears into
The innocent
And into one's self.

O I know the way you can get
If you have not been drinking Love:

You might rip apart
Every sentence your friends and teachers say,
Looking for hidden clauses.

You might weigh every word on a scale
Like a dead fish.

You might pull out a ruler to measure
From every angle in your darkness
The beautiful dimensions of a heart you once

I know the way you can get
If you have not had a drink from Love's

That is why all the Great Ones speak of
The vital need
To keep remembering God,
So you will come to know and see Him
As being so Playful
And Wanting,
Just Wanting to help.

That is why Hafiz says:
Bring your cup near me.
For all I care about
Is quenching your thirst for freedom!

All a Sane man can ever care about
Is giving Love!

From: 'I Heard God Laughing - Renderings of Hafiz'  
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky
Back to Poetry Index
The Poetry Of Hafiz
Poems on this page are translated by  both Thomas Rain Crowe, from his book, Drunk On the Wine of the Beloved   and selections from Daniel Ladinsky's translations.

  Hafiz, a Sufi poet, expressed in poetry love for the divine, and the intoxicating oneness of union with it.  Hafiz, along with many Sufi masters, uses wine as the symbol for love. The intoxication that results from both is why it is such a fitting comparison. Hafiz spoke out about the hypocrisy and deceit that exists in society, and was more outspoken in pointing this out than many poets similar to him.
Laughing At the Word Two


That Illumined

Who keeps
Seducing the formless into form

Had the charm to win my

Only a Perfect One

Who is always
Laughing at the word

Can make you know



From: 'The Gift'
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky
All the Hemispheres

Leave the familiar for a while.
Let your senses and bodies stretch out

Like a welcomed season
Onto the meadows and shores and hills.

Open up to the Roof.
Make a new water-mark on your excitement
And love.

Like a blooming night flower,
Bestow your vital fragrance of happiness
And giving
Upon our intimate assembly.

Change rooms in your mind for a day.

All the hemispheres in existence
Lie beside an equator
In your heart.

Greet Yourself
In your thousand other forms
As you mount the hidden tide and travel
Back home.

All the hemispheres in heaven
Are sitting around a fire

While stitching themselves together
Into the Great Circle inside of

From: 'The Subject Tonight is Love'
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky
Like The Morning Breeze

Like the morning breeze, if you bring to the morning good deeds,
The rose of our desire will open and bloom.

Go forward, and make advances down this road of love;
In forward motion, the pain is great.

To beg at the door of the Winehouse is a wonderful alchemy.
If you practice this, soon you will be converting dust into gold.

O heart, if only once you experience the light of purity,
Like a laughing candle, you can abandon the life you live in your head.

But if you are still yearning for cheap wine and a beautiful face,
Don't go out looking for an enlightened job.

Hafiz, if you are listening to this good advice,
The road of Love and its enrichment are right around the curve.

From: Drunk on the Wind of the Beloved
Translated by Thomas Rain Crowe
From the Large Jug, Drink

From the large jug, drink the wine of Unity,
So that from your heart you can wash away the futility of life's grief.

But like this large jug, still keep the heart expansive.
Why would you want to keep the heart captive, like an unopened bottle
  of wine?

With your mouth full of wine, you are selfless
And will never boast of your own abilities again.

Be like the humble stone at your feet rather than striving to be like a
Sublime cloud: the more you mix colors of deceit, the more colorless
   your ragged wet coat will get.

Connect the heart to the wine, so that it has body,
Then cut off the neck of hypocrisy and piety of this new man.

Be like Hafiz: Get up and make an effort. Don't lie around like a bum.
He who throws himself at the Beloved's feet is like a workhorse and will
    be rewarded with boundless pastures and eternal rest.

From: Drunk on the Wine of the Beloved
Translated by Thomas Rain Crowe
List of Poems:
All the Hemispheres
From The Large Jug, Drink
I Have Learned So Much   
Let Thought Become Your Beautiful Lover
School of Truth
Laughing At the Word Two  
I Know the Way You Can Get
I've Said It Before and I'll Say It Again 
Tired of Speaking Sweetly   
Like The Morning Breeze
We Might Have To Medicate You    
A Potted Plant     
No More Leaving  
Let Thought Become Your
Beautiful Lover

Let thought become the beautiful Woman.

Cultivate your mind and heart to that depth

That it can give you everything
A warm body can.

Why just keep making love with God's child-- Form

When the Friend Himself is standing
Before us
So open-armed?

My dear,
Let prayer become your beautiful Lover

And become free,
Become free of this whole world
Like Hafiz.

From: 'The Gift'
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky
I Have Learned So Much

So much from God
That I can no longer

A Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim,
a Buddhist, a Jew.

The Truth has shared so much of Itself
With me

That I can no longer call myself
A man, a woman, an angel,
Or even a pure

Love has
Befriended Hafiz so completely
It has turned to ash
And freed

Of every concept and image
my mind has ever known.

From: 'The Gift' 
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky
School of Truth

O fool, do something, so you won't just stand there looking dumb.
If you are not traveling and on the road, how can you call yourself a guide?

In the School of Truth, one sits at the feet of the Master of Love.
So listen, son, so that one day you may be an old father, too!

All this eating and sleeping has made you ignorant and fat;
By denying yourself food and sleep, you may still have a chance.

Know this: If God should shine His lovelight on your heart,
I promise you'll shine brighter than a dozen suns.

And I say: wash the tarnished copper of your life from your hands;
To be Love's alchemist, you should be working with gold.

Don't sit there thinking; go out and immerse yourself in God's sea.
Having only one hair wet with water will not put knowledge in that head.

For those who see only God, their vision
Is pure, and not a doubt remains.

Even if our world is turned upside down and blown over by the wind,
If you are doubtless, you won't lose a thing.

O Hafiz, if it is union with the Beloved that you seek,
Be the dust at the Wise One's door, and speak!

From: 'Drunk On the Wind of the Beloved' 
Translated by Thomas Rain Crowe
I've Said It Before and I'll Say It Again

I've said it before and I'll say it again:
It's not my fault that with a broken heart, I've gone this way.

In front of a mirror they have put me like a parrot,
And behind the mirror the Teacher tells me what to say.

Whether I am perceived as a thorn or a rose, it's
The Gardener who has fed and nourished me day to day.

O friends, don't blame me for this broken heart;
Inside me there is a great jewel and it's to the Jeweler's shop I go.

Even though, to pious, drinking wine is a sin,
Don't judge me; I use it as a bleach to wash the color of hypocrisy away.

All that laughing and weeping of lovers must be coming from some other place;
Here, all night I sing with my winecup and then moan for You all day.

If someone were to ask Hafiz, "Why do you spend all your time sitting in
The Winehouse door?," to this man I would say, "From there, standing,
  I can see both the Path and the Way.

From: Drunk on the Wind of the Beloved
Translated by Thomas Rain Crowe
Tired of Speaking Sweetly

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.

From: 'The Gift'
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky
We Might Have To
Medicate You

Resist your temptation to lie
By speaking of separation from God,

We might have to medicate

In the ocean
A lot goes on beneath your eyes.

They have clinics there too
For the insane
Who persist in saying things like:

"I am independent from the

God is not always around

Pressing against
My body."

From: 'The Gift'
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky
A Potted Plant

I pull a sun from my coin purse each day.

And at night I let my pet the moon
Run freely into the sky meadow.

If I whistled,
She would turn her head and look at me.

If I then waved my arms,
She would come back wagging a marvelous tail
Of stars.

There are always a few men like me
In this world

Who are house-sitting for God.
We share His royal duties:

I water each day a favorite potted plant
Of His--
This earth.

Ask the Friend for love.
Ask Him again.

For I have learned that every heart will get
What it prays for

From: 'The Subject Tonight Is Love'
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky
No More Leaving

Some point
Your relationship
With God
Become like this:

Next time you meet Him in the forest
Or on a crowded city street

There won't be anymore


That is,

God will climb into
Your pocket.

You will simply just take



From: 'The Gift'
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky