Hafez was a 14th-Century Iranian poet

By Bänoo Zan

I stood at the gates—
The Roknabad Stream murmured through
Mosalla Gardens[1]
Roses scattered the morning breeze

The sea kissed the boat
and waved at the palace
The king smiled at sycophant ghazals[2]

I was the bard—
the blood of the city—
the breath of God—

Centuries later they would say
that I loved Shiraz[3]
But I feared tempests

and remained true to the past

Open my book
and read your future


[1] The Roknabad Stream and Mosalla Gardens were popular outings during Hafez’ times

[2] An Arabic/Persian poetic form.

[3] A city in Iran

First published in: Verse Afire: A Tri-Annual Publication of the Ontario Poetry Society, Editor John Di Leonardo, Publisher I.B. Iskov, I.S.S.N. 1715-0280, January-April 2016, Vol. 1


About Author

Bänoo Zan

Bänoo Zan has over 150 published poems and three books, two of which were released after she landed in Canada—Songs of Exile (2016) was shortlisted for Gerald Lampert Award and Letters to My Father was released in 2017. She founded Shab-e She’r (Poetry Night), Toronto’s most diverse poetry reading and open mic series, in 2012. Twitter: @BanooZan

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