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The Wine Goblet of Ḥāfeẓ

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

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Bahman Solati

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.

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Chapter 1: The Life, Times, and Teachings of Ḥāfeẓ

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Ḥāfeẓ’s Life

Khwāja Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad Ḥāfeẓ Shīrāzī (d. c. 792/1390), better known simply as Ḥāfeẓ, is one of the most celebrated Iranian poets. And yet, despite his popularity and enormous influence on Persian literature, language, and culture, we are sure of very few details of Ḥāfeẓ’s life. The brief references found in tadhkiras (anthologies with biographical sketches) are often unreliable and sometimes even fabricated. This dearth of reliable information has persuaded some scholars and researchers to use Ḥāfeẓ’s own poetry as a reference for factual details about his life and historical milieu, sometimes to an unreasonable degree. The earliest surviving document about Ḥāfeẓ is an introduction to his Dīvān (Collected Works), written by one of his contemporaries, a man widely believed to have been named Muḥammad Gulandām.1 However, scholars are still uncertain about the true identity of this author as well as the accuracy of the text.2

Most sources do agree about Ḥāfeẓ’s given name, Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad. They also believe that the pen name Ḥāfeẓ—a title generally given to those who had memorized the Qurʼān as well as to those with exceptional knowledge of music and rhyme—accurately describes the historical man. The ← 1 | 2 → frequent tones and echoes of Qur’ānic expressions and references in Ḥāfeẓ’s poems reflect this deep understanding. As it was customary during Ḥāfeẓ’s time to address men...

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