Poems to cope with the pandemic isolation by Hafiz

Swapna Mirashi

Some of the most potent messages are packed in fewest words. Like these little poems by the 14th century Persian poet Hafiz.

I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.

In the dull dark winters or during the unprecedented universal isolation due to the global pandemic, the power of this ‘astonishing light of one’s own being’ is often put to a test. In these situations then, both an emphatic and empathic verse like this is a necessary reminder of that light within.

Here’s another one on loneliness – the kind in which one becomes more grateful and empathetic towards others (eyes soft and voice tender) instead of bitter in self pity.

Don’t surrender your loneliness so quickly Let it cut more deep. Let it ferment and season you. As few human Or even divine ingredients can. Something missing in my heart tonight. Has made my eyes so soft. My voice So tender

My need of God. Absolutely Clear

Our mind is tuned in to continuously seek something. The modern corporate world teaches us to set goals, make plans and achieve them. And so we do – set goals, make plans to seek happiness. When happiness, like butterfly comes to us only when we are still. So much like we can be right now, with limited social engagements, time pressures, weekend parties, travels…

Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you

Maybe it can now 😉

My father always says; you’d find joy and happiness in giving, not asking from others. And this little Hafiz gems reiterates just that, the power of unconditional love.

Even after all this time, the Sun never says to the Earth, ‘You owe me.’

Look what happens with a love like that, It lights the whole sky.

So don’t fear, do not worry. As the Sufi mystic says

Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I would like to see you living in better conditions

Now that all your worry has proved such an unlucrative business, Why not find a better job.”

Shams-ud-din Muhammad Hafiz (c. 1320-1389) is one of the most beloved poets of the Persians, and is considered by many – from different cultures – to be one of the seven literary wonders of the world. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said of Hafiz: “He fears nothing. He sees too far, he sees throughout; such is the only man I wish to see or be.” “Hafiz is a poet for poets.”