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The Angels Knocking on the Tavern Door: Thirty Poems of Hafez

Robert Bly, Leonard Lewisohn

There is no poet in our tradition who carries the amount of admiration and devotion that the Persians have for Hafez. Children learn to sing Hafez poems in the third grade, and almost every family has a copy of the collected Hafez on the dining room table. Robert Bly and the great Islamic scholar Leonard Lewisohn have worked for 15 years on this book of Hafez, the first that carries into English his nimbleness, his outrageous humor, his defenses of the private life in the face of the fundamentalists, and the joy of his love poems. He writes in the ghazal form, one of the greatest inventions in the history of poetry. This is Rumi’s wild younger brother, now brought into an English that makes his genius visible.

Literature & Fiction


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