Tourist & Resident Guide to Iran

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Hafez: Iran’s Greatest Poet

The 13th century poet, Hafez is enshrined at the site of his former home in Shiraz, Central Iran.

These university students have come to his tomb to pay their respects and read poetry, and also to draw strength from his spirit.

To many, not only is he a literary great, but also a mystic guide. Opening his “Divan”, a collection of his works in a single volume, at a random page is practised as a form of divination somewhat akin to China’s I-Ching.

The name Hafez is a generic appellation used to address those who have memorised the Koran. Hafez the poet was able to recite the entire Koran from memory in all 14 different reading styles. He was devoted to his hometown of Shiraz, inspired as he was by the roses, the birdsong and the wine, and it is said that he never once left.

Hafez is the spiritual godfather of the city of Shiraz and echoes of his voice can still be felt in the the relaxed, philosophical and romantic hearts of its people.

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