All the Hemispheres

About two weeks ago I met Daniel Ladinsky in Abiquiu, New Mexico where he was one of three poets at a poetry reading.  He’s a translator of the works of  both Rumi and Hafiz and has a remarkable ability to quote passages from both.  He was generous in many ways:  in the words he drew forth and in signing and sharing his books with us, or listening to our stories.  It was a very moving evening. He stayed nearby us at Ghost Ranch, so we saw him at breakfast and lunch the next day.  This Hafiz poem is one of his translations, enjoyed by five of my writing classes this week.  I’d like to note  some of his particular word choices:  watermark, soul, and campfire.  See below, enjoy the details!

All the Hemispheres                                                                                    Hafiz

Leave the familiar for a while. Let your senses

and bodies stretch out


like a welcomed season onto the meadows and

shores and hills.


Open up to the roof. Make a new watermark

on your excitement and love.


Like a blooming night flower, bestow your vital

fragrance of happiness and giving upon our

intimate assembly.


Change rooms in your mind for a day. All the

hemispheres in existence lie beside an equator

in your soul.


Greet yourself in your thousand other forms as

you mount the hidden tide and travel back home.


All the hemispheres in heaven are sitting around

a campfire chatting while


stitching themselves together into the great circle

inside of you.


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