Native Persian speakers hold a special bond with Hafiz. Poems from his Divan (collected works) are memorized by men, women, and children from all strands of society, from scholars to school children, entrepreneurs to nomads.
Hafiz was the unrivaled master of the ghazal, a lyric form roughly equivalent to the English sonnet in length, intensity, and complexity. Wine & Prayer is a new edition of Elizabeth Gray's 1995 work The Green Sea of Heaven. In this new volume, Gray has joined with Iraj Anvar, a scholar of Sufism and Persian poetry, expanding the book from fifty to eighty translations of Hafiz's brilliant ghazals.
This work brings to each reader Hafiz's poetic genius, expressing his passion for the Divine Beloved and his scandalous (to the Muslim clergy of his day) exaltation of music and wine as vehicles of transcendence and ecstasy.
Wine & Prayer presents the ghazals of Hafiz in English translations that capture the subtleties, paradoxes, and spiritual depths of the poet hailed by Persians as "the Tongue of the Invisible" and the "Interpreter of Mysteries."