A couple of years ago, a generous friend sent me her very own copy of “The Gift,” a compilation of poems by the 14th century Persian poet -- Hafiz. Every day I delighted in reading one or two of his poems, each one a treasure chest of wisdom. I laughed, I cried, I reflected, and read many of them aloud to anyone within an earshot. One day a guest came along and read through the poems with the same look of awe and wonderment, and I knew it was time to pay-it-forward. “The Gift” by Daniel Ladinsky continues to be my favorite book of poetry of all times.

Poetry has a way of touching the heart, making it dance with joy, and weep with happy tears. It can say in two lines what sometimes can’t be conveyed in an entire book. I have so many favorite poems of Hafiz, but here’s one I was thinking of today:
"Tripping Over Joy"

What is the difference
Between your Existence
And that of a Saint?

The Saint knows
That the spiritual path
Is a sublime chess game with God
And that the Beloved
Has just made such a Fantastic Move
That the Saint is now continually
Tripping over joy
And Bursting out in Laughter
And saying, "I Surrender!"

Whereas, my dear,
I am afraid you still think
You have a thousand serious moves.


What a beautiful way of reminding us that we don’t (and can’t) have control over things all the time. Surrender! Surrender to what? Surrender to what is, to the beauty of this moment without the faulty projections of the past. 


  1. meghna :)2/17/2011

    Ahh!!!!! Bellicima :) :) LOVE Hafiz!! Thank you for sharing it. Look forward to more from him.

  2. thanks Meghna! hope you're doing well. Hafiz has such a beautiful way of putting things...always brightens my day.

  3. what a lovely poem... thanks for sharing... Wondering if you can save me a copy of the book you mentioned...


  4. Sheetal consider it done! I'm surprised you already don't have a copy. If there's anyone who would love this book, it's you. :-)

  5. Anonymous2/18/2011

    your blog is truly inspiring and thought provoking. Thanks.

  6. Lavanya3/09/2011

    Wow! Guri, thanks for sharing. Came across this poem this morning and it made my day.