There are many varying aspects that make cultures around the world different from each other. Literature is a large part of many cultures around the world. Today, our provider Somayeh from Iran tells us about the part literature plays in her culture:
In Iran, beautiful poetry is a big part of Persian culture. Hafez is one the most famous poets of Iran. Most Iranians have The Divan by Hafez in their houses. When it is Nowrooz or Yalda they make a wish, and then open The Divan to a random page. They believe whatever poem is on that page is like their plan, or fortune. The following is the poem titled Ghazel 1 by Hafez from The Divan:
That beautiful Shirazi Turk, took control and my heart stole,
I’ll give Samarkand & Bukhara, for her Hindu beauty mole.
O wine-bearer bring me wine, such wine not found in Heavens
By running brooks, in flowery fields, spend your days and stroll.
Alas, these sweet gypsy clowns, these agitators of our town
Took the patience of my heart, like looting Turks take their toll.
Such unfinished love as ours, the Beloved has no need,
For the Perfect Beauty, frills and adornments play no role.
I came to know Joseph’s goodness, that daily would increase
Even the chaste Mistress succumbed to the love she would extol.
Whether profane or even cursed, I’ll reply only in praise
Sweetness of tongue and the lips, even bitterness would enthrall.
Heed the advice of the wise, make your most endeared goal,
The fortunate blessed youth, listen to the old wise soul.
Tell tales of song and wine, seek not secrets of the world,
None has found and no-one will, knowledge leaves this riddle whole.
You composed poems and sang, Hafiz, you spent your days well
Venus wedded to your songs, in the firmaments’ inverted bowl.
(Translated by: Shahriar Shahriari Reference: http://www.hafizonlove.com/divan/01/003.htm)
Want to learn more about literature in other cultures around the world? Watch for the release of Savoir-Vivre and then visit www.scola.org for your free trial!