What is it about these old Sufi poets that their magic continues even today?
A conspiracy between a translator, a bookstore and poetry-loving friends blows a Tuesday evening dinner in Chapel Hill into the spirit realm.
Bhavani is a friend who loves and creates poetry, so for her birthday, I went to a bookstore and got two Ladinsky-translated books of Hafiz poems. The Gift is a collection, and A Year With Hafiz has a poem for each day of the year. Before I take The Gift into the restaurant, while appreciating a colorful sunset, I just open the book and read the first poem my eyes find. It is “I am really just a tambourine.”
Makes the universe admit a
Really just a tambourine.
Against your warm
Before presenting the book to her as a gift, I read that poem. Being a percussionist, she especially likes the image of playing against her warm thigh! Then she reveals that she already has that book. So I go back out to the car and get A Year With Hafiz to give her instead. After a toast, she decides to read the poem for her birthday. It is the same poem!