Hafez is among the most celebrated of Persian mystic poets, thriving alongside such towering figures as Rumi and Saadi. Ubiquitous in Iran, he has also been hugely influential in the West. Interpreted variously as ardent mystic and lover, he fuses earthly and divine love with an intense constancy as momentously productive as Dante's courtly adoration for Beatrice. Across intimidating obstacles of time and culture, Beloved delivers an accessible yet authentic modern rendering of the Persian originals. Few translations of Hafez have matched his beauty, musicality and rich complexity. Combining vigour with ingenuity, Mario Petrucci reanimates for the English reader all of the moral clarity and sensual abundance of a spiritual and literary master.
'The challenges of translating elaborate poems from medieval Persian to modern English are legion… But Mario Petrucci takes on the task with gusto here, and is to be applauded.' – Henry Shukman, poet, novelist, Zen teacher, author of Archangel (Cape Poetry, 2013)
'Petrucci's adaptations are a delight to read. They are fresh, candid, subtly humorous, and elegant. They have that audacious and multilayered richness one finds in the originals. Above all, they are uncompromising.' – Fatemeh Keshavarz, Director and Chair, Roshan Institute for Persian Studies, University of Maryland
'Mario Petrucci's new versions of Hafez are nuanced and thoughtful, embracing both the depth and the beauty of the original.' – Sasha Dugdale, Editor, Modern Poetry in Translation
‘Petrucci bases his engagement with Hafez on a special awareness... Everywhere, his delicate but probing selection of word and phrase uplifts and inspires.' – Michael Hakuzan Wenninger, Zen monk
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Hafez: Last night my Beloved rose to me…
Mario Petrucci reads a poem from his new translation, Beloved: 81 poems from Hafez. To read the text of this poem [no.59 in the book], click on the View Extract tab below. (Video by Mario Petrucci.)