I.B.Tauris in association with the Iran Heritage Foundation
After six hundred years, the Persian lyrical poet Hafiz (d. 1389) still remains the most popular poet in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and other parts of Central Asia where Persian is spoken today as the mother tongue. Imitated by the likes of Goethe in Germany, venerated by Tennyson in England and Emerson in the United States during the nineteenth century, he continues to attract attention and inspire admirers worldwide. Hafiz’s masterful use of the rhetorical arts, his poetic devices and his skill in imagery are acclaimed as the benchmark of lyrical excellence in Persian. Yet the undying cult of Hafiz’s popularity owes as much to his fascinating cosmopolitan romantic vision as to the exceptionally high calibre of his poetry.
This important volume is not only the first study to date of the philosophical, theological and mystical bases of Hafiz’s erotic spirituality but the most comprehensive introduction to the poet’s romantic philosophy, literary tradition, poetry and biography yet published in any European language. It situates for the first time Hafiz’s rhetoric of romance within the broader context of ‘Love Theory’ in Arabic and Persian poetry. The work will appeal not only to students of Islamic philosophy, Sufism and Middle Eastern studies but also to a wider audience interested in comparative poetics, Eastern literature and spirituality, medieval romance and the philosophy of love.