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The Poetry of Hafiz of Shiraz

Hafiz in Persian

Over the centuries there have been many attempts to translate the subtleties of Hafiz's Persian verse into English.  By all accounts even the best translations have been only partially successful.  For those who have the ability to read Persian or modern Farsi, a partial collection of Hafiz, in the original Persian, is available online in PDF file format.  click here to download your copy of this free collection.

Comparing Translations

To get an idea of how different translators may emphasize very different aspects of a particular ghazal, click here and take a brief tour of eight different translations of the same ghazal.  The featured ghazal is the very first one in the divan of Hafiz.


(Some of these authors have translated Hafiz directly from the Persian, others have adapted their poetry from the work of other translators.  For the sake of convenience, we have made no distinction here between the two.)

Free Poetry

Click on a translators name to see an example of one of their English language versions of a Persian ghazal composed by Hafiz.

A. J. Alston

A. J. Arberry

Peter Avery and John Heath-Stubbs

Coleman Barks

Gertrude Bell

H. Wilberforce Clarke

Elizabeth Gray

Abbas Aryanpur Kashani

Daniel Ladinsky

James R. Newell

Haleh Pourafzal and Roger Montgomery

Paul Smith


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