The Thousand-Stringed Instrument

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The Thousand-Stringed Instrument
by Hafiz
as translated by Daniel Ladinsky

  • The heart is
    The thousand-stringed instrument.

    Our sadness and fear come from being
    Out of tune with love.

    All day long God coaxes my lips
    To speak,

    So that your tears will not stain
    His green dress.

    It is not that the Friend is vain,
    It is just your life we care about.

    Sometimes the Beloved
    Takes my pen in hand,
    For Hafiz is just a simple man.

    The other day the Old One
    Wrote on the Tavern wall:

    “The heart is
    The thousand-stringed instrument

    That can only be tuned with
    Love.”

    From The Gift: Poems by Hafiz the Great Sufi Master
    © Daniel Ladinsky

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