Ghazal Themes

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Even before the time of Hafiz, ghazal was a complex form of poetry so far as it’s themes were concerned. Diwan of Hafiz includes several poetic themes as they had been existing in Persian and Arabic literature for centuries. The most prominent themes of Hafiz’s ghazals are the trials and troubles of the poet lover along with a rebellious celebration of drinking. Besides, the ghazals of Hafiz also deal with the spiritual subjects as the traces of the transcendental in worldly beauty, based upon the idea of the beautiful person as an observer of the timeless beauty, disparagement with the conservative Sufi piousness, derived from the doctrines of self deprecating (malamati) mysticism, and the abandonment of physical world. Out of these themes,…show more content…
This social setting includes a pleasant group of friends (majles), who are often called the majlesian (87:9). It may also include drinking or a courtly feast, frequently set in a garden (517). Such gatherings included singers or musicians (mortreb) as well as the cupbearer (saqi) who are often addressed directly or indirectly in his poetry. Especially the cupbearer or saqi is often taken as beloved, though his major role is to ease the lover’s suffering from pain with wine. In some cases, his ghazal may be identified as a drinking song. The call for wine as a motivation for getting drunk is frequently added, for example it works as a cure for the woes and problems of love, helps to forget the inevitable movement of time, gives a hope for the return of spring with the fulfilment of the bond of love. He also refers to other persons present at the gathering like the modda’i (enemy) (51:9), the raqib (challenger, who is a continuous hindrance between the union of the poet and his beloved), and the ghammaz (one who conspires to unveil the secret of the poet) (89:7), figures of the religion (wa’ez, faqih, mufti, muhtaseb, etc.) and in the panegyric framework, the patron of the poet or the prince.
The ghazals of Hafiz include very sketchy and short narrative details, which have been used especially in the beginning lines of a particular poem. For example, in the following lines the description of the beloved is given
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(Hafiz, 1:4)
While Goya says:
On my way to the beloved every footstep jingles with happiness,
The bells calling for the night’s halt have no meaning, nor the temptation of the resting place. (Goya, 3:2)
Hafiz, in the aforementioned couplet, compares the world with a stage of the beloved. Every moment the bell of death rings and reminds him that the stay here is not permanent and all of us will soon have to quit this place. It refers to the insecurity and improbability which affect all the Sufis on this path. On the contrary, for Goya, this world is a pleasant place wherein security is everlasting. What causes his cheerfulness in this world is the belief that Akalpurak is present in all His creation, especially within the heart of mankind. This concept is a major idea given in the Adi Grant. It is in this regard that Goya writes:
To sing Your praise is delicious for the tongue,
To talk of the beloved in this world, it is delicious! (Goya, 34:1)
Hafiz, in the following couplet, again suffers from the separation of his beloved whose union is not permanent for him.
Opportunities of union passé without our being aware;
Behold! Now, in the essence of separation, I am. (Hafiz,
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