Camarón and Persian Poetry- “Nothing is Eternal” and “The Cicada”



The universe
is a kaleidoscope:
now hopelessness, now hope
now spring, now fall.
Forget its ups and downs:
do not vex yourself:
The remedy for pain
is the pain.


Translation by Peter Lamborn Wilson and Nasrollah Pourjavady




Punishment replaces punishment
and one pain removes another
a nail takes out another nail
and one love replaces another

Nothing, Nothing,  is forever

It’s a castle of pain,
with towers of suffering
that you yourself built
when you said “I’m sorry…”

Nothing, Nothing, is forever

and gives it you no pain!
I only feel more the wounds
that I have in my heart

Nothing, Nothing,  is forever

O moon that shines on the seas, the dark seas
Aren’t you tired moon?
Turning to the same world?
O moon, stay with me and don’t go!
Because they say you sometimes delay the dawn, the dawn
The moon no longer wears her black silk veil
Looks down no longer in her blue mirror
The sun broke the moon’s heart
and she follows from afar, still gazing at one another

I think of that afternoon,
when I wanted to kill,
Avenge myself for my cowardice!
Why not kill myself, if I were already dead in my life…?

Nothing, Nothing, is forever

Iron will never be for my body
ay moon when I see you,
it’s a silence in a thousand pieces
ay when I die of sighs
I would like to hold you in my hands
and wrap you in my cloak
until the new day has arrived,
ay and never stop loving you!

O moon that shines on the sea, the dark seas
Aren’t you tired moon?
Turning to the same world?
O moon, stay with me and don’t go!
Because they say you sometimes delay the dawn, the dawn
The moon no longer wears his black silk veil
No longer look down in his blue mirror
The sun broke the moon’s heart
and he follows from afar, still gazing


Quita una pena, otra pena
y un dolor, otro dolor
un clavo saca otro clavo
y un amor quita otro amor


es un castillo de pena,
con torres de sufrimiento
tu misma los fabricaste
cuando dijiste lo siento


y a ti no te da dolor!
no me apretes mas las llagas
que tengo en mi corazonç


Luna q brillas los mares, los mares oscuros
ay luna tu no estas cansá
de girar al mismo mundo?
ay luna kedate conmigo y aun not e vayas!
pq dicen q aveces se tarda el alba,se tarda el alba
ya no viste la luna su velo de seda negro
ya no baja a mirarse en su azul espejo
el sol le dio a la luna un desengaño
se siguen de lejos,se siguen mirando

Yo pienso en aquella tarde,
cuando me quise matar,
me avergonze de mi cobardia!
pa q matarme?si yo staba muerto en mi via


mi cuerpo hierro para nunca
ay luna cuando te miro
es un silencio en mil pedazos
ay cuando muerto de suspiro
me gustaria con mis manos abrazarte
y con mi manto cobijarte
q llegara el nuevo dia,
ay no dejar de amarte!

Luna que brillas los mares,los mares oscuros
ay luna tu no estas cansá
de girar al mismo mundo?
ay luna kedate conmigo y aun not e vayas!
pq dicen q aveces se tarda el alba,se tarda el alba
ya no viste la luna su velo de seda negro
ya no baja a mirarse en su azul espejo
el sol le dio a la luna un desengaño
se siguen de lejos,se siguen mirando





WHAT is wrought in the forge of the living and life–
All things are nought! Ho! fill me the bowl,
For nought is the gear of the world and the strife!
One passion has quickened the heart and the soul,
The Beloved’s presence alone they have sought–
Love at least exists; yet if Love were not,
Heart and soul would sink to the common lot–
All things are nought!

Like an empty cup is the fate of each,
That each must fill from Life’s mighty flood;
Nought thy toil, though to Paradise gate thou reach,
If Another has filled up thy cup with blood;
Neither shade from the sweet-fruited trees could be bought
By thy praying-oh Cypress of Truth, dost not see
That Sidreh and Tuba were nought, and to thee
All then were nought!

The span of thy life is as five little days,
Brief hours and swift in this halting-place;
Rest softly, ah rest! while the Shadow delays,
For Time’s self is nought and the dial’s face.
On the lip of Oblivion we linger, and short
Is the way from the Lip to the Mouth where we pass
While the moment is thine, fill, oh Saki, the glass
Ere all is nought!

Consider the rose that breaks into flower,
Neither repines though she fade and die–
The powers of the world endure for an hour,
But nought shall remain of their majesty.
Be not too sure of your crown, you who thought
That virtue was easy and recompense yours;
From the monastery to the wine-tavern doors
The way is nought

What though I, too, have tasted the salt of my tears,
Though I, too, have burnt in the fires of grief,
Shall I cry aloud to unheeding ears?
Mourn and be silent! nought brings relief.
Thou, Hafiz, art praised for the songs thou hast wrought,
But bearing a stained or an honoured name,
The lovers of wine shall make light of thy fame–
All things are nought!

Translation: Gertrude Bell



حاصل کارگه کون و مکان این همه نیست
                         باده پیش آر که اسباب جهان این همه نیست
از دل و جان شرف صحبت جانان غرض است
                  غرض این است وگرنه دل و جان این همه نیست
منت سدره و طوبی ز پی سایه مکش
                که چو خوش بنگری ای سرو روان این همه نیست
دولت آن است که بی خون دل آید به کنار
                     ور نه با سعی و عمل باغ جنان این همه نیست
پنج روزی که در این مرحله مهلت داری
                      خوش بیاسای زمانی که زمان این همه نیست
بر لب بحر فنا منتظریم ای ساقی
                   فرصتی دان که ز لب تا به دهان این همه نیست
زاهد ایمن مشو از بازی غیرت زنهار
                     که ره از صومعه تا دیر مغان این همه نیست
دردمندی من سوخته زار و نزار
                         ظاهرا حاجت تقریر و بیان این همه نیست
نام حافظ رقم نیک پذیرفت ولی
                        پیش رندان رقم سود و زیان این همه نیست


We are the mirror as well as the face in it.
We are tasting the taste this minute of eternity.
We are pain and what cures pain both.
We are the sweet cold water and the jar that pours.
I want to hold you close like a lute so we can cry out with loving.
You would rather throw stones at a mirror?
 I am your mirror, and here are the stones.






What bad luck I have
to have met you
how happy I lived,
your love is my punishment.
I’m leaving this land
I have already renounced my soul
Singing the whole way,
Just to not hear your name,
I’m going to the Moors.


O moon that shines on the sea, the dark seas
Aren’t you tired moon?
Turning to the same world?
O moon, stay with me and don’t go!
Because they say you sometimes delay the dawn, the dawn


Pozo Blanco Road
had a tavern
with white wine.
Give me another sip,
come down,
I haven’t tasted anything.


Then I was born a carnation
pa the days rejoiced with me
and now that I have all three,
what a wonder is mine.
That the garden of my house
will never lack  joy.
Don’t sing cicada
silence your chirping,
For I carry a pain in my soul,
A dagger that strikes me
knowing that when I sing
my luck expires sighing
Under the shade of a tree
and the beat of my guitar
This happy song,
because the road has ended
and do not want to die dreaming,
oh, like the cicada died.


Life, life, life is,
is a setback,
life is life.
Oh life is, life is …


Que mala suerte la mía,
de haber tropezao contigo,
lo a gustito que yo vivía,
tu cariño es mi castigo.

Me voy de estos terrenos
que ya he renunciaíto primita mía
pa toíta la vía,
sólo por no escuchar tú nombre,
que yo me voy a la morería.

Ay, luna que brilla en los mares,
en los mares oscuros,
luna, tú no estás cansá
de girar el mismo mundo,
ay, luna quédate conmigo,

ya no te vayas,
porque dicen que a veces
se tarda el alba.

Camino de Pozo Blanco
había una tabernita
con vino blanco.
Échame otro buchito,
vengo najando,
no ha catao ná.

Después me nació un clavel
pa alegrarme a mí los días,
y ahora que tengo a los tres,
que maravilla la mía.
Que en el jardín de mi casa
nunca falte la alegría.

Ya no cantes cigarra,
apaga tu sonsonete,
que llevo una pena en el alma,
que como un puñal se me mete
sabiendo que cuando canto
suspirando va mi suerte.

Bajo la sombra de un árbol
y al compás de mi guitarra
canto alegre este huapango,
porque la vía se acaba
y no quiero morir soñando,
ay, como muere la cigarra.

Ábreme la puerta
que vengo najando,
y los gachés, primita de mi alma,
sí a mí me ven
me la van buscando.

La vida, la vida, la vida es,
es un contratiempo,
la vida, la vida es.

Ay la vida es, la vida es…


Omar Khayyam / Edward Fitzgerald

A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread, — and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness —
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!


And lately, by the Tavern Door agape,
Came stealing through the Dusk an Angel Shape
Bearing a Vessel on his Shoulder; and
He bid me taste of it; and ’twas — the Grape!
The Grape that can with Logic absolute
The Two-and-Seventy jarring Sects confute:
The subtle Alchemest that in a Trice
Life’s leaden Metal into Gold transmute.


For in and out, above, about, below,
‘Tis nothing but a Magic Shadow-show,
Play’d in a Box whose Candle is the Sun,
Round which we Phantom Figures come and go.

The Worldly Hope men set their Hearts upon
Turns Ashes — or it prospers; and anon,
Like Snow upon the Desert’s dusty Face
Lighting a little Hour or two — is gone.


‘Tis all a Chequer-board of Nights and Days
Where Destiny with Men for Pieces plays:
Hither and thither moves, and mates, and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.


Ah, Moon of my Delight who know’st no wane,
The Moon of Heav’n is rising once again:
How oft hereafter rising shall she look
Through this same Garden after me — in vain!


Ah, with the Grape my fading Life provide,
And wash my Body whence the Life has died,
And in a Windingsheet of Vine-leaf wrapt,
So bury me by some sweet Garden-side.


“Translations” by E. Fitzgerald. The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam



Camaron, Me, and ‘Attar

El Padre Santo de Roma



Lailolailolailo, Leilo …

Holy Father in Rome,
I have to ask
if the sins that I have
if the sins I have,
if the sins I have,
can they be forgiven?

I’m like a sad bird
that goes from branch to branch,
singing its suffering,
singing its suffering,
because it doesn’t know how to cry.

Oh how beautiful are the flowers,
the cheerful spring
with its divine colors.
You are the sea,
I am the sand,
I’ll go with you,
wherever you want.

Europe’s Chapel,
Europe’s Chapel,
overlooking the bay
so pretty and beautiful,
so pretty and beautiful,
the fields of Andalusia.

You are the sea,
I am the sand,
I’ll go with you,
wherever you want.


Lailolailolailo, leilo…

Al Padre Santo de Roma,
le tengo que preguntar
si los pecados que tengo
si los pecados que tengo,
si los pecados que tengo,
me los puede perdonar.

Soy cómo el pájaro triste,
ay que de rama en rama va,
cantando su sufrimiento,
cantando su sufrimiento,
porque no sabe llorar.

{Olé, Paco}

Ay qué bonitas están las flores,
de la alegre primavera
con sus divinos colores.
Tú eres la mar,
yo soy la arena,
yo voy contigo,
dónde tú quieras.

De la Capilla de Europa,
de la Capilla de Europa,
se divisa la bahía
más bonita y más hermosa,
ay más bonita y más hermosa,
de la vega Andalucía.

Tú eres la mar,
yo soy la arena,
yo voy contigo,
dónde tú quieras.



You forged these chains and set me free
I’m your dream, you’re my memory
Don’t forget me, I beg you please
My darkness, light, health and disease

My love is yours, so yours is mine
So lift my ore out of this mine
Don’t leave me shrouded in my mind
Love flows behind the clouds of time

Only my death will end our war
My perfections stain your faults
My waves will crash upon your shore
Until your rocks become my salt


دلم دردى كه دارد با كه گويد


To whom can my heart speak of its pain
     To whom can I repent, for I’ve sinned again?
Alas!  Isn’t there a sympathetic freind
   who would welcome my bad luck?
When you spoke to me of abandonment
   you were a dying person describing death
Why should one wash their hands of you when
   they’re not full at the table of your union?
My heart sees your face through a hundred walls;
   it breathes your scent from a hundred leagues
I won’t forget the rose of your union
   otherwise the thorns will grow upon my grave
Today the grief of ‘Attar’s heart
   speaks or is silent by your decree



دلم دردی که دارد با که گوید            گنه خود کرد تاوان از که جوید
دریغا نیست همدردی موافق        که بر بخت بدم خوش خوش بموید
مرا گفتی که ترک ما بگفتی               به ترک زندگانی کس بگوید
کسی کز خوان وصلت سیر نبود            چرا باید که دست از تو بشوید
ز صد بارو دلم روی تو بیند             ز صد فرسنگ بوی تو ببوید
گل وصلت فراموشم نگردد             وگر خار از سر گورم بروید
غم درد دل عطار امروز               چه فرمایی بگوید یا نگوید


Tangos of the Willows

Yo pienso como el cipres




I will be like the willow,
I will be like the willow,
though I last one hundred years,
I will be like the willow,
that sways in the air,
but remains firm,
but remains firm.

I think like the cypress,
I think like the cypress,
the truest of truths,
the truest of truths,
that on which I stand.

For God’s sake, Lord Mayor,
Don’t hit the thieves,
because you have a child,
and part of their hearts,
ay ay ay Mother,
ay ay ay Mother.

If you comb your hair with the comb,
canastero and comb,
I can assure you
that you will curl your hair,
that you can curl,
your black hair, your hair,
if you comb your hair with the comb,
the comb of the castanero.

From the root of an olive tree
my Gypsy mother was born
and I, as her son,
I am a stem of the same branch.
Oh mai, mai oh,
Oh Mother, oh Mother.

And this scarf,
and this handkerchief,
I carry with me,
for when I cry,
I release you,
for when I cry,
I release you.

The Virgin of Remedios
has her dark face,
and the child in her arms,
handsomer than the lily.
Oh Mother, oh Mother.

I live in love, and for me your kisses,
are like the source of my thoughts.
I live in love ..



Ay yo seré como la mimbre,
que yo seré como la mimbre,
aunque cien años yo dure,
y yo seré como la mimbre,
y que la bambolea el aire,
pero se mantiene firme,
pero se mantiene firme.

Yo pienso como el ciprés,
yo pienso como el ciprés,
la verdad más verdadera,
la verdad más verdadera,
la de mantenerse en pié.

Por Dios, alcalde mayor,
no pegue usted a los ladrones,
porque usted tiene una niña,
y que parte los corazones,
ay ay ay mare,
ay ay ay mare.

Si te peinas con el peine,
y el peine del canastero,
y yo te puedo asegurar
y que se te riza a ti el pelo,
que se te puede rizar,
tu pelo negro, tu pelo,
si te peinas con el peine,
el peine del canastero.

De la raíz de un olivo
ay nació mi mare gitana,
y yo, como soy su hijo,
tronco de la misma rama.
Oh mai, oh mai,
oh mare, oh mare.

Y este pañuelo,
y este pañuelo,
lo llevo conmigo,
pa cuando yo lloro,
lo estreno contigo,
pa cuando yo lloro,
lo estreno contigo.

La Virgen de los Remedios
tiene su cara morena,
y el niño que está en sus brazos,
más guapo que la azucena.
Oh mare, oh mare.

Yo vivo enamorao y para mí tus besos,
son como la fuente de mis pensamientos.
Yo vivo enamorao..


El Embrujo de tus ojos




I will be like the willow,
I will be like the willow,
though I last one hundred years,
I will be like the willow,
that sways in the air,
but remains firm,
but remains firm.

It appeared, it appeared,
In a dream vanishing my happiness.
God, how I remember.
I remember that day.
If great was my torment
still greater was my joy
when I woke from sleep
and I saw that it was a lie.

And I gaze at the firmament,
and I tell the stars,
of my worship and thought,
and that I adore the name Gema Gema.
When I remember you,
what a beautiful name you carry,
Gema, Gema, Gema.

When I remember you,
the spell of your eyes
that will not let me live
Like children, I cry
remembering you.
You do not go,
you do not go,
Do not leave me alone.
You do not leave me.

Look at me, and I cry,
and you say softly
“Why did you leave me?”

You and I on the blanket,
You and I in the moonlight,
and your black eyes sparkled,
reflecting tenderness.



Yo seré como la mimbre,
que yo seré como la mimbre,
aunque cien años yo dure,
y, yo seré como la mimbre,
y que la bambolea el aire,
pero se mantiene firme,
pero se mantiene firme.

Se apareció, se apareció,
en un ensueño despidiendo mi alegría.
Dios mío, cómo me acuerdo.
Yo me acuerdo de aquel día.
Si grande fue mi tormento
más grande fue mi alegría
cuando desperté del sueño
y yo vi que era mentira.

Y yo repaso el firmamento,
y me dicen las estrellas,
y que adorara el pensamiento,
y que adorara yo el nombre de Gema, Gema.
Cuando me acuerdo de ti,
qué bonito nombre llevas,
Gema, Gema, Gema.


Cuando me acuerdo de ti,
del embrujo de tus ojos
que no me dejan vivir.
Como los niños yo lloro
y acordándome de ti.
Tú no te vayas,
tu no te vayas,
tú no me dejes solo.
Tú no te vayas de mí.

Y me miras, y me lloras,
y tú me dices bajito
¿por qué me abandonas?

Tú y yo sobre la manta,
tú y yo bajo la luna,
y brillaban tus ojos negros,
reflejando la ternura.


I am wind, you are fire






I saw myself as a thorn, so I went towards a rose

I saw myself as vinegar, so I mixed myself in sugar

I was a bowl full of poison, so I went to the cure

I was a cup of dregs, so I dived into the water of life

My eye was full of pain, so I sought Jesus’ hand

I saw myself as raw, so I mixed with the ripe

I found the dust of love’s alley to be the soul’s eye-liner

And I became poetry in the subtlety of that dust I mixed

Love said, “Yes, that’s right,”  you said, “But don’t see it [as coming] from your self.”

I am wind and you are fire, I enliven you and inspire




خویش را چون خار دیدم سوی گل بگریختم
خویش را چون سرکه دیدم در شکر آمیختم
کاسه پرزهر بودم سوی تریاق آمدم
ساغری دردی بدم در آب حیوان ریختم
دیده پردرد بودم دست در عیسی زدم
خام دیدم خویش را در پخته‌ای آویختم
خاک کوی عشق را من سرمه جان یافتم
شعر گشتم در لطافت سرمه را می بیختم
عشق گوید راست می گویی ولی از خود مبین
من چو بادم تو چو آتش من تو را انگیختم








I am the wind 
you are the fire 
and I want to burn in your embers 
or you can turn off the light with a little water
Leilere, lere lereilere 


2nd verse:
Why don’t you look for me
I need you to find me
my world is a cold forest
in which I lose myself
my world is an empty thing
since only you can relieve me
I’m lost
and my love is so sincere
that sometimes without losing you
I am scared of losing you
if I lose you
I’ll take a kiss from your mouth
and I want to dream of you, awake
with you, with you
Leilere lerelerelereilere




Tu mare y la mía
se habían disgustao
pelillos del roete
se han arrancao
Por que no te vienes
y me ayudas a levantarme
no ves que yo estoy caio
tengo el corazón partío tengo el corazón herio
y como no seas tú quien lo alivie
no encuentra alivio


yo soy el viento
tu eres la hoguera
y yo en tus brasas quemarme quisiera
ni el agüita claralo podrá apagar
Leilere, lere lereilere


Por qué no me buscas
necesito que me encuentres
mi mundo es un bosque frio
en el que yo me extravio mi mundo es algo vacioy como no seas tú quien lo alivies
yo estoy perdio
Por eso mi cariño es tan sincero
que a veces sin perderte siento miedo
de perderte
si te pierdo
te hago beso de tu boca
y te quiero soñar dispierto
contigo, contigo
Leilere lerelerelereilere


Along the path…

The love of her beauty is a sea of fire.
      If you’re a lover you’ll burn; such is the path.
Where a bright candle’s flame suddenly heaves
      won’t the moth burn?  Its burning is certain.
If you want love’s secret, leave faith and disbelief.
     What room is there for them in Love’s entrance?
The lover who comes to the path’s first stage
     falls in frailty like a shadow upon the ground.
After a while nothing remains of the shadow
   because the sun lies in wait in a distant place
Many thousands of travellers made pretence of Love
   Mansur is like the gemstone on the seal of the path.
Anyone who claims the pearl of truth from this sea
   is forever cherised in the courts of both worlds
The task of this path is extremely arduous;
   one person each millenium sees the path through
How will you know the people of the path? for they
   first walk on this path, then on the seventh heaven
Along the path, ‘Attar came upon a place
   higher than body and soul, outside of kindness and hate.


modified from K. Avery and A. Alizadeh.  Fifty Poems of ‘Attar.  Anomaly, 2007


    عشق جمال جانان دریای آتشین است
گر عاشقی بسوزی زیرا که راه این است
   جایی که شمع رخشان ناگاه بر فروزند
پروانه چون نسوزد کش سوختن یقین است
   گر سر عشق خواهی از کفر و دین گذر کن
کانجا که عشق آمد چه جای کفر و دین است
   عاشق که در ره آید اندر مقام اول
چون سایه‌ای به خواری افتاده در زمین است
   چون مدتی برآید سایه نماند اصلا
کز دور جایگاهی خورشید در کمین است
   چندین هزار رهرو دعوی عشق کردند
برخاتم طریقت منصور چون نگین است
   هرکس که در معنی زین بحر بازیابد
در ملک هر دو عالم جاوید نازنین است
   کاری قوی است عالی کاندر ره طریقت
بر هر هزار سالی یک مرد راه‌بین است
    تو مرد ره چه دانی زیرا که مرد ره را
اول قدم درین ره بر چرخ هفتمین است
    عطار اندرین ره جایی فتاد کانجا
برتر ز جسم و جان است بیرون ز مهر و کین است



Translation of lyrics:

Walking, walking, walking alone
I found my gypsy bathing in the river


She can not live without me,
I can not live without her,
I am the sun that shines,
she is for me the star,
that illuminates my dream!


Walking, walking, walking alone
I found my gypsy bathing in the river


She is my joy
When your hair caresses my face,
Between my kisses I get lost gazing in
Your black eyes and I’m going crazy


Caminando,caminando,caminando voy solito
a buscar a mi gitana que lavando esta en el rio!
No puede vivir sin mi,
no puedo vivir sin ella,
yo soy el sol q le alumbra,
ella es para mi la estrella,
la que alumbra mi sueño!


Caminando,caminando,caminando voy solito
a buscar a mi gitana que lavando esta en el rio!
Ella es mi alegria
cuando su pelo acaricia mi cara
y entre mis besos yo me pierdo mirando
sus ojos negros y yo me vuelvo loco



And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips, bidding adieu

Come tell me what it is that I have gained
From loving you,
Apart from losing all the faith I had
And knowledge too?


Though longing for you scatters on the wind
All my life’s work
Still, by the dust on your dear feet, I have
kept faith with you


And even though I’m just a tiny mote
In love’s great kingdom,
I’m one now with the sun, before your face,
In loving you


Bring wine! In all my life I’ve never known
A corner where
I could sit snugly, safely, and enjoy
Contentment too


And, if you’re sensible, don’t ply me with
Adivce; your words
Are wasted on me, and the reason is
I’m drunk; it’s true!


How can I not feel hopeless shame when I
Am near my love?
What service could I offer her?
What could I say or do?


Hafez is burned, but his bewitching love
Has yet to say,
“Hafez I wounded you, and here’s the balm
I send for you.”


From: Dick Davis.  Faces of Love: Hafez and the Poets of Shiraz.  Mage, 2012


غزل 315- به غیر از آن که بشد دین و دانش از دستم

بغیــر از آنکـــه بشد دین و دانـش از دستـــــم
بیــا بگــــو که ز عشقت چــــه طرف بربستـم
اگـــر چه خرمن عمـــرم غم تو داد بیـــــــــاد
بخـــاک پای عـــزیزت که عهـــــد نشکستـــم
چـــو ذره گـــر چه حقیـــرم ببین بدولت عشق
که در هــــوای رخت چون به مهــــر پیوستم
بیار باده که عمـــریست تا من از ســــــرا من
به کنج عــــافیت از بهـــــــر عیـش ننشستـــم
اگـــر زمـــردم هشیاری ای نصحیت گـــــــو
سخن بخاک میفکـــن چـــــرا کــــه من مستم
چگونه سر ز خجالت بر آورم بـــــــر دوست
که خـــدمتی به سزا بر نیامــــــــد از دستــــم
بسوخت حافظ و آن یـــــار دلســـــوز نـــگفت
کـــه مـــرهمی بفـــرستم که خاطرش خستـــم




Life is an illusion
that no one lives without
nor can it be solved
Because it’s like a star
no one has ever reached

When I met you I loved you
I gave you love and warmth
and finally I realized
that was a mistake
that I suffered with you



La vida es una ilusión
que nadie vive sin ella
y no tiene solución
porque es como una estrella
que jamás nadie alcanzó

Cuando yo a ti te conocí
te di cariño y calor
y al final me convencí
que fue una equivocación
la que yo contigo sufrí



Two stanzas from “An Ode to Melancholy”:

But when the melancholy fit shall fall
Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,
That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,
And hides the green hill in an April shroud;
Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,
Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,
Or on the wealth of globed peonies;
Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,
Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave,
And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.

She dwells with Beauty – Beauty that must die;
And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips
Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,
Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips:
Ay, in the very temple of Delight
Veil’d Melancholy has her sovran shrine,
Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue
Can burst Joy’s grape against his palate fine;
His soul shall taste the sadness of her might,
And be among her cloudy trophies hung.


Camaron and Hafez: Love’s Minstrels

Translation of Lyrics:

Strumming the strings of his guitar,
Strumming the strings of his guitar,
A Sultan complained of his Queen.

Two wells of stars, your black eyes,
And a moonless rose, your black hair,
Your black hair, your black hair,
Two wells of stars, your black eyes.

The rosemary bush smells of your body,
The rosemary bush smells of your body,
No jasmine on earth is more tender
No jasmine on earth is more tender.

Although a powerful king, I am a beggar,
Although a powerful king, I am a beggar,
If I lack the flames of your love,
Of your love, of your love,
If I lack the fire of your love.

Do not mess with me anymore,
Do not mess with me anymore,
Because you know too well
Because you tease me
Because you tease me.

Rasgueando las cuerdas de su guitarra,
Rasgueando las cuerdas de su guitarra,
Un sultán se quejaba de su sultana.
Son dos pozos de estrellas tus ojos negros,
Y una rosa sin luna tu pelo negro,
Tu pelo negro, tu pelo negro,
Son dos pozos de estrellas, tus ojos negros.
A mata de romero huele tu cuerpo,
A mata de romero huele tu cuerpo,
No hay en la tierra mora jazmin mas tierno
No hay en la tierra mora jazmin mas tierno
Siendo un rey poderoso soy un mendigo,
Siendo un rey poderoso soy un mendigo,
Si me faltan las llamas de tu cariño,
De tu cariño, de tu cariño,
Si me faltan las llamas de tu cariño.
No te metas más conmigo,
No te metas más conmigo,
Porque de sobra tú sabes
Que tú roneas conmigo,
Que tú roneas conmigo.


Love’s minstel has wonderful harmony and melody
Every song in his repertoire has a path to a place
May the world never be empty of the cry of lovers
Because it has a sweet and joyful voice
Although our dreg-draining Pir has neither gold nor force,
He has a sin-forgiving and fault-concealing God
My heart was honoured like this sugar-worshipping fly
Since he became Your desire, he has the splendor of the Huma
It is not far from justice, if he asks around
that king who has a beggar for a neighbor
I showed my bloody tears to the physicians, they said:
“It’s love’s pain and the burning of the liver has the cure”
Avoid the tyranny of glances, for in Love’s way
 Each act has a recompense, and every deed, a reward
That idol of a Christian wine seller well said:
“Enjoy the happiness on the face of a pure one”
O Great King!  Hafiz, a member of your court, recites the fatiha
And desires a prayer from your tongue


          مطرب عشق عجب ساز و نوایی دارد
 نقش هر نغمه که زد راه به جایی دارد
                    عالم از ناله عشاق مبادا خالی
که خوش آهنگ و فرح بخش صدايى دارد
     پیر دردی کش ما گر چه ندارد زر و زور
 خوش عطابخش و خطاپوش خدایی دارد
             محترم دار دلم کاین مگس قندپرست
 تا هواخواه تو شد فر همایی دارد
             از عدالت نبود دور گرش پرسد حال
 پادشاهی که به همسایه گدایی دارد
               اشک خونین بنمودم به طبیبان گفتند
 درد عشق است و جگرسوز دوایی دارد
         ستم از غمزه میاموز که در مذهب عشق
 هر عمل اجری و هر کرده جزایی دارد
           نغز گفت آن بت ترسابچه باده فروش
 شادی روی کسی خور که صفایی دارد
 خسروا حافظ درگاه نشین فاتحه خواند
 و از زبان تو تمنای دعایی دارد

Flamenco is Love and Pain

“Flamenco is love and pain,” he said. “Heartbreak. In art there has to be pain, that is clear – it is like life, whether you want it or not, it is there.”

-Vicente Amigo in an interview

 Hafez says…

مرا می*بینی و هر دم زیادت می*کنی دردم

Marâ mibini o hardam, ziyâdat mikoni dardam

Every time you look into my eyes, you put salt into my wounds

تو را می*بینم و میلم زیادت می*شود هر دم

Tow râ mibinam o meylam ziyâdat mishavad har dam

Every time I look into your eyes, my passion soars for you

به سامانم نمی*پرسی نمی*دانم چه سر داری

Beh sâmânam nemiporsi, nemidânam cheh sar dâri

You never ask about my well being, I don’t know what you are going to do with me

به درمانم نمی*کوشی نمی*دانی مگر دردم

Beh darmânam nemikooshi, nemidâni magar dardam

You do not try to heal my wounds as if you are unaware of them

نه راه است این که بگذاری مرا بر خاک و بگریزی

Na râh ast in keh bogzâri marâ bar khâk o bogrizi

Leaving me here on the ground is not respectable

گذاری آر و بازم پرس تا خاک رهت گردم

Gozâri âr o bazam prs ta khâk-e rahat gardam

Return to me and look for me – I will be the dust of your road forever*

ندارم دستت از دامن بجز در خاک و آن دم هم

Nadaram dastat az dâman bejoz dar khâk o ân dam ham

I cannot reach you, I would only reach your skirt if I became dust**, but even in that case

که بر خاکم روان گردی بگیرد دامنت گردم

Keh bar khâkam ravân gardi, begirad dâmanat gardam

When you would walk over my dust, your skirt would absorb all of it***



Like water…

“Consider the creatures as pure and limpid water, within which shine the Attributes of the Almighty.  Their knowledge, their justice, their kindness all are stars of heaven reflected in flowing water.  Kings are a locus of manifestation for God’s Kingliness, the learned a locus for His Knowledge.  Generations have passed, and this is a new generation. The moon is the same, the water different.  Justice is the same justice, learning the same learning, but peoples and nations have changed.  Generation upon generation has passed, oh friend, but these Meanings are constant and everlasting.  The water in the stream has changed many times, but the reflection of the moon and the stars remains the same.   All pictured forms are reflections in the water of the stream; when you rub your eyes, indeed, all are He.”

Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi qs : Mathnavi VI 3172-78, 83


حافظ از مشرب قسمت گله ناانصا فیست   طبع چون آب و غزل‌های روان ما را بس

Hafez, don’t rail against your fate!
Your nature flows,
As does your verse, like water as
It comes and goes…that’s quite enough for me


From: Dick Davis.  Faces of Love: Hafez and the Poets of Shiraz.  Mage, 2012

Como el Agua



Like water

Divine light of my heart
Illuminating my heart
My body walks cheerfully
Because it’s carrying your illusion.

Oh, like water.
Like water.
Like water.

Like clear water
Running down from the mountain,
I want to see you
Day and night.

Oh, like water.
Like water.
Like water.

I want all of your warmth
My body is yours
If you want
We both have fire
Running in our blood.

Oh, like water.
Like water.
Like water.

If your eyes were
Green olive,
All night long, I would be
Crushing, crushing,
All night long, I would be
Crushing, crushing,
Crushing, crushing

Oh, like water.
Like water.
Like water.



Como el agua

Luz del alma mia divina
que a mi me alumbra mi corazon
mi cuerpo alegre camina
porque de ti lleva la ilusion.

Ay, como el agua.
Como el agua.
Como el agua.

Como el agua clara
que abaja del monte,
asi quiero verte
de dia y de noche.

Ay, como el agua.
Como el agua.
Como el agua.

De ti deseo yo to el calor
pa ti mi cuerpo si
lo quieres tu
fuego en la sangre nos
corre a los dos.

Ay, como el agua.
Como el agua.
Como el agua.

Si tus ojillos fueran
aceitunitas verdes,
toa la noche estaria
muele que
muele, muele que
toa la noche estaria
muele que
muele, muele
muele, muele
que muele.

Ay, como el agua.
Como el agua.
Como el agua.


translation and lyrics from this site


Hafez and Flamenco


Everyone who became an intimate of the heart, remained in my love’s sanctuary
and the one who didn’t understand this remained in denail


Don’t fault my heart if it shed its veil.
Thank God it didn’t stay veiled in its imagination


The Sufis redeemed all the clothes they pawned for wine
Only our coat remained in the tavern


The other Sufis passed by drunk and no one noticed
Only our story remained the talk of every bazaar


The ruby wine that we took from that pale hand
Turned to pure regret and remained in our eyes


My heart has been his lover from before creation to beyond time
We have heard of no one else who has been eternal in this work


I have never seen a more beautiful reminder
than the words of love that linger in this turning dome


The narcissus tried to mimic your sultry eyes
Your ways were beyond him, and he lies sick still


The robe I wore covered a hundred faults,I pawned it for wine
and what remained was the musician and the infidel’s belt


The Chinese painting became so amazed by your beauty
That its speech remained all over the walls


One day Hafez’s heart went to gaze at his lovely curls
It meant to return, but remained entangled there forever.



Modified from Elizabeth Gray’s The Green Sea of Heaven.  White Cloud Press, 1995


هر که شد محرم دل در حرم يار بماند                  وان که اين کار ندانست در انکار بماند
اگر از پرده برون شد دل من عيب مکن                   شکر ايزد که نه در پرده پندار بماند
صوفيان واستدند از گرو می همه رخت                      دلق ما بود که در خانه خمار بماند
محتسب شيخ شد و فسق خود از ياد ببرد                 قصه ماست که در هر سر بازار بماند
هر می لعل کز آن دست بلورين ستديم                   آب حسرت شد و در چشم گهربار بماند
جز دل من کز ازل تا به ابد عاشق رفت                    جاودان کس نشنيديم که در کار بماند
گشت بيمار که چون چشم تو گردد نرگ                     شيوه تو نشدش حاصل و بيمار بماند
از صدای سخن عشق نديدم خوشتر                            يادگاری که در اين گنبد دوار بماند
داشتم دلقی و صد عيب مرا می‌پوشيد                  خرقه رهن می و مطرب شد و زنار بماند
بر جمال تو چنان صورت چين حيران شد                که حديثش همه جا در در و ديوار بماند
به تماشاگه زلفش دل حافظ روزی                                شد که بازآيد و جاويد گرفتار بماند

They say the world is like that

Look gypsy girl, gypsy girl how I love you
Last night I dreamed about you
I woke up and you’re not there
And I say to myself, girl
How alone I am now
Life is a lie
Life is a lie
And everyone who has money
Has smiles on their faces
In summer the heat
And in winter really cold
And because I have no money
I’ll stay the same
They say the world is like that
Why do they say that?
I know they speak about me
Right now good or badly
I stay happy
Because I stay in the present
And I say to myself
Let them tell me
Let them tell me
They say Alejando Sanz
Is the heart breaker
But when I come out to sing
I give you my heart (my all)
Look, what a gypsy I am
That I sell my shirt
Everywhere I go.



Dicen que el mundo es asi
Que mira gitanita, gitana como te quiero…
Anoche soñe contigo
Me he despierto y tú no estaba
Y me digo mamaíta (x2)
Que solito me quedaba
La vida es una mentira
La vida es un engaño
Y todos que tienen el dinero
Las risas tienen en los labios
En el verano la calor
En el invierno mucho frío
Y yo como no tengo dinero
Me tiro el vestido
Dicen que el mundo es así
¿Por qué lo dice la gente?
Yo sé que hablan de mi
Para bien o malamente
Y yo sigo muy feliz
Porque yo sigue muy presente
Y yo digo para mí
Que me lo cuenten
Y dicen que alejando san
Parte los corazones
Y pero yo cuando
Esa mana canta (x2)
Mira que gitano soy
Que yo vendo mi camisa
Por donde quiera que voy