The Wine Goblet of Ḥāfeẓ

A Comparative Study of the Influence of Ḥāfeẓ on the Fifteenth-Century Classical Persian Poet Jāmī

by Bahman Solati (Author)
©2017 Monographs XX, 136 Pages


In this innovative book, Bahman Solati presents a comparative study of Ḥāfeẓ, an internationally renowned poet in the West, particularly in Germany, France, and the Anglophone world for the past 250 years, and his influence on the fifteenth-century classical Persian poet Jāmī.
Having played a key role on the stage of world literature and poetry, present available studies in the West suffer from a dearth of good research works on Ḥāfeẓ. This text aims to fill this gap, including coverage of commentaries, critical studies, and compilations of Ḥāfeẓ’s Divān, juxtaposing them with works and poetry of Jāmī to evaluate the influence of Ḥāfeẓ on this fifteenth-century mystic and poet. Comprehensive notes and an extensive bibliography are added bonuses of the book.
Devotees of Persian literature and those of Persian-speaking countries (Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan) will find this text of particular interest, as will academics interested in Persian poetry and literature. The usefulness of this research alone for students and scholars alike is of itself enough to make this book worth adding to any library.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • System of Transliteration
  • Consonants
  • Vowels
  • Acknowledgments
  • List of Abbreviations
  • Introduction
  • Notes on the Text
  • A Note on Translation
  • A Note on Transliteration
  • A Note on Dates
  • Chapter 1: The Life, Times, and Teachings of Ḥāfeẓ
  • Ḥāfeẓ’s Life
  • Ḥāfeẓ’s Time
  • Ḥāfeẓ’s Contemporaries and Patrons
  • Khwājū Kirmānı (d. 762/1360)
  • ’Ubayd Zākānī (d. c. 770/1370)
  • Nāṣir Bukhārā’ī (d. 772/1371)
  • ’Imād Faqīh Kirmānī (d. 773/1371)
  • Salmān Sāvajī (d.778/1377)
  • Luṭf-Ullāh Nayshābūrī (d. 812/1409)
  • Jahān Malik Khātūn (d. 795/1393)
  • Kamāl Khujandī (d. 803/1400)
  • Shāh Ni ’mat-Ullāh Valī (d. 834/1433)
  • Ḥāfeẓ’s Teaching
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 2: Terms and Phrases Employed in Ḥāfeẓ’s Poetry
  • Ḥāfeẓ’s Poetic Style
  • Terms and Phrases Employed in Ḥāfeẓ’s Poetry
  • Chapter 3: Jāmī’s Life and Works
  • Literary Works
  • Poetic Works
  • Prose Works
  • Jāmī’s Poetic and Literary Character
  • Chapter 4: Jāmī and Sufism
  • Chapter 5: Persian Poetry and Mysticism
  • Persian Poetry and Mysticism
  • A Brief Introduction to the Concept of Persian Mystical Poetry
  • Persian Poetry and Mysticism
  • The Concept of Love in Persian Mystical Poetry
  • The Definition of the Beloved in Persian Poetry
  • Jāmī and Ḥāfeẓ
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3
  • Chapter 4
  • Chapter 5
  • Bibliography
  • Primary Sources
  • Secondary Sources
  • Index
  • Series index

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| xi →

The principal sources for the original ghazals (lyric poems) of Ḥāfe were two editions of the Dīvān, one edited by Muammad Qazvīnī and Qāsim Ghanī, and the other edited by P. Khānlarī.

My sources for translations of Ḥāfe’s poetry included the following English versions of the Dīvān-i Ḥāfe:

Arberry, A. J. Fifty Poems of Ḥāfe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1962 [1947].

Bly, Robert, and Leonard Lewisohn, eds. The Angels Knocking on the Tavern Door: Thirty Poems of Hafez. New York: Harper Collins, 2008.

Davis, Dick. Faces of Love: Hafez and The Poets of Shiraz. Washington, DC: Mage, 2012.

Loloi, Parvin, and William Oxley. Poems from the Divan of Hafez. South Devon: Acumen, 2013.

My special thanks go to Maryam Zohreh-vand, who aided me in translating all the ghazals of Jāmī as well as some of those of Ḥāfe. It has taken about two years of scattered work and two years of full-time work for this research to come to fruition, and during this time many researchers and friends have helped me in a number of ways. My deepest gratitude goes to them all, and I can only apologize for not listing everyone’s name here. ← xi | xii →

I would especially like to thank Dr. Leonard Lewisohn, who patiently commented on all the chapters and guided me through this difficult task. I am very fortunate to be surrounded by scholars and literati whose advice and guidance in this line of research has proved invaluable.

I hope that this study will assist many students of Persian literature and comparative cultural studies.

| xiii →

| xv →

Looking through the eyes of Persian culture, we see that human beings are not entirely driven by intellect or consistent in their use of reason. On the contrary, men and women are most moved by emotion. Persian philosophy is a perfect illustration of this, as it is most commonly written in both poetry and prose. Here, I believe, is where the brilliance of the Persians rests, in the beauty of their language and the expression of their culture, especially their literature, which has endured over two and a half millennia.1

In this book I demonstrate the influence of Ḥāfe, one of the greatest Persian poets, on the thoughts, poetic language, and philosophy of the gifted fifteenth-century classical Persian poet Jāmī. I will undertake close readings of parts of Ḥāfe’s poems that focus on divine love and lean toward concepts that are somewhat mystical—at least as I understand them. Translations of Ḥāfe’s poetry and various other verses are my own, unless otherwise stated. The rest of translations are by Maryam Zohreh-vand.

Mullā Nūr al-Dīn ʽAbd al-Ramān Jāmī, believed to be the last of the great classical Sufi poets, and, in the words of Edward G. Browne, “one of the most remarkable geniuses whom Persia ever produced,”2 was born in the town of Jām in Khurāsān in 817/1414 and died in 898/1492.3 During Jāmī’s lifetime, his hometown of Herat became the center of the newly revived Persian culture ← xv | xvi → (enervated by the socio-political decline in the wake of the devastating and oppressive Mongol invasion). For almost the entire ninth/fifteenth century, it was considered the center of knowledge, literature, and arts for Iran, as well as for parts of India and Turkey. Jāmī lived most of his life during the reign of Mīrzā Abuʽl-Qāsim Bābur (r. 856/1453–871/1468) and a large part of Sulṭān usayn Bāyaqrā’s rule (r. 875/1472–898/1495). During his nearly half-century career, he produced a number of poetic and literary masterpieces.4 Jāmī’s mystical writings and poetry were known throughout much of the Muslim world at that time, and he was revered and admired by his compatriots.5

Jāmī’s inspiration, Ḥāfe, had significant influence on the poets of Persia beginning immediately after his death, if not during his lifetime. Most of the poets of the ninth/fifteenth century were inspired by and followed the master poets of the previous century, particularly Saʽdī and Ḥāfe. Jāmī has long been considered one of Ḥāfe’s principal literary progeny. As A. J. Arberry asserts of Jāmī, “It was thirty-one years since the shining star Ḥāfe had set, and now the hand of destiny placed another candle in the lamp-stand of Persian literature.”6 Jāmī believed that no one is able to understand Ḥāfe adequately:

هرکسی بهر دل خود سخنی می گوید7 هیچ کس سر دهانت به حقیقت نشناخت

No one could truly unveil the secret of your tongue,

Everyone speaks according to their heart’s desire.

Najīb Māyil Haravī asserts that Jāmī’s poetry displays such an intimacy with the writing of Ḥāfe that one wonders if he memorized most of Ḥāfe’s Dīvān (Collected Works).8 Haravī further claims that if one searched Jāmī’s own Dīvān, one would find many examples of similarities with the ghazals (lyric poems) of Ḥāfe. I will provide examples of this in Chapters 3, 4, and 5 of his work.

For Haravī, Jāmī’s poetry is imbued with the scent of Ḥāfe’s verse. Although Jāmī sought to employ meters different from those of Ḥāfe, most scholars believe he did not succeed in developing an independent style.9 According to M. Muʽīn, who quotes Bahār, Jāmī was the greatest poet of the Tīmūrīd era, but, if his poetic style approaches that of Ḥāfe, his themes break little new ground and instead largely imitate the work of his illustrious predecessor.10 This book is divided into five chapters, a conclusion, a bibliography, and a general index. In chapter 1, I offer an overview of Ḥāfe’s life and political connections with princes of the Muaffarid court, his somewhat controversial relations with men of learning and clerics (ʽUlamā), and his conflict ← xvi | xvii → with Mubāriz al-Dīn (Shāh Shujāʽs father), as these are some of the necessary components of his later reception in history. In addition, I analyze the political themes or lack thereof in Ḥāfe’s poetry and some key aspects of his poetic style. Chapter 2 examines Ḥāfe’s poetic skill and provides brief overviews of important terms and phrases Ḥāfe employs in his ghazals. Chapter 3 briefly examines Iran’s sociopolitical milieu as seen in Jāmī’s life and literary works while addressing Jāmī’s poetics and literary character, Ḥāfe’s poetic language, and the influence of that language on Jāmī. Chapter 4 focuses on Jāmī and Sufism, and Chapter 5 includes a comparative study of the two poets’ works, juxtaposing their verse to identify the similarities in their poetic styles. Chapter 5 also explores Persian poetry and mysticism, with special attention to the concept of love in Persian mystical poetry and the definition of the Beloved. The conclusion addresses key questions raised by this study concerning the influence of Ḥāfe’s poetry on Jāmī’s poetic language.

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XX, 136
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2016 (December)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2017. XX, 136 pp.

Biographical notes

Bahman Solati (Author)

Bahman Solati is a visiting scholar in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his Ph.D. in Persian literature and comparative studies from the University of Exeter. His current research focuses on the impact of Sufism on post-Islamic Persian literature. He is the author of The Reception of Ḥāfeẓ (2013), Rubā‘īyāt of Ḥakim ‘Umar Khayyam: Selected Quatrains of Khayyam Translated into Simple English with Spiritual Interpretation (2015), and Persian Words of Wisdom: Sayings and Proverbs by Masters of Persian Poetry (2015).


Title: The Wine Goblet of Ḥāfeẓ
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158 pages