Hafiz: the spirit of Iran

Hafiz: the spirit of Iran

Author: 
Bahman Solati
Abstract: 

This study analyzes the effect of the medieval Persian poet Ḥāfiẓ Shīrāzī (d. 791/1389)—in his poetic language, thought, philosophy, and teachings—on modern Iranians. By exploring Ḥāfiẓ’s verses and applying them to different modes and times through the modern society, I hope to demonstrate the extent of Ḥāfiẓ’s influence on the people of Iran and the nation’s attitude toward the poet. Ḥāfiẓ’s importancein Iranian society cannot be underestimated. Before the formation of the modern system of colleges and universities, Ḥāfiẓ’s Divān was studied as a subject of literary research (Ḥāfiẓ-shināsī), along with Saʿdī’s Gulistān and the Qurʾān(Solati, 2013, introduction).Ḥāfiẓ is viewednot onlyas a poet but also as the incarnation of Iran’s national spirit:“His poetry is so profoundlyentwined into the essence of Iranians that it might be said that to know Persians, one must know Ḥāfiẓ, and likewise, that an in-depth understanding of the Persian character is impossible without understanding Ḥāfiẓ”(Solati, 2013, pp. 21-22). His work is broadly considered to be unequaled; over thepast seven centuries in Persia, no writerhas matched his poetic skill, although many have tried. Myclose readingsuggests reasons for the profound influence of this fourteenth-century classical Persian poet on today’sIranian culture and society.

Paper No: 
066