Hafiz was born at Shiraz, in Persia, sometime after 1320, and died there in 1389. He is, then, an almost exact contemporary of Chaucer. His standing in Persian literature ranks him with Shakespeare and Goethe. A Sufi, Hafiz lived in troubled times. Cities like Shiraz fell prey to the ambitions of one marauding prince after another and knew little peace. The nomads of Central Asia finally overthrew the rule of these princes and led to the establishment of the succeeding Timurid Dynasty.
His poems celebrate the love, wine, and fellowship of all creatures. This volume, first published in 1952, brings back into print, at last, the renderings, the most beautiful and faithful in English, of this greatest of Persian writers.