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This poem is taken from PN Review 188, Volume 35 Number 6, July - August 2009.

Six Poems Hafiz

The Dregs

Wild-eyed sweaty hair messed, with a drunken smile,
shirt torn shouting a ghazal she raised the cup.

The flower of her glance was bold taunting petulant,
she came and sat next to my bed at midnight.

Leaning over the bed she put her lips to my ear and whispered:
Old lover, are you still asleep?

They poured nightlong wine for the would-be mystic -
if he rejects the gift he’s an infidel to love itself.

Get lost you teetotalling wretch, stop pestering those who drink
the dregs; wine is our only heritage from the Day of Alast.

What he splashed into our cup we drank:
the wine of love or drink from the heavenly fountain.

The delight of wine, the tangled hair of the beloved…
how many vows they’ve shattered, those of Hafiz too!


The Pearl
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