Iran: Tomb of Hafez, Poetry & Contemplation

SHIRAZ | The Tomb of Hafez, and the memorial hall Hāfezieh in Shiraz is one of the most popular meeting places in the city for locals, and when you walk through the beautiful landscaped Musalla Gardens, which themselves featured extensively in Hafez’ poetry, it’s not hard to see why. Hafez, for those of you who aren’t aware, is considered one of, if not the, greatest poet in Persian history. His works focus on the topics of love and faith, and he was also a keen satirist, exposing the hypocrisy of Persia’s politicians and rulers of the time. Hafez would also use secular imagery such as wine and drunkeness to convey his ideas.

How important is Hafez to the people of Iran? Well it’s said that each Iranian household is guaranteed to contain at least 2 books – the Quran and the Divān (Hafez collection which consists of 693 poems, of which 573 are sonnets) and 12 October is celebrated in Iran as “Hafez Day”.

tomb of hafez shiraz

Hafez’ original tomb was built on this site in 1452, with a grander memorial built in 1773. Over the years it was altered, until the structure as it stands today was comissioned in 1935, having been designed by French historian and architect André Godard, who was director of the Iranian Archeological Service at the time.

When all your desires are distilled
You will cast just two votes:
To love more, And be happy.

tomb of hafez shiraz

The 16 pillars of the memorial hall form a veranda and are engraved with a selection of Hafez’s ghazals (a 4-line Arabic poetic form based on rhyming couplets and a refrain) and excepts from his other works. Many of the objects in the garden are in fact engraved with Hafez poetry, much of it in the exact parts of the garden that the poems themselves were written about or written in.

tomb of hafez shiraz0

The marble slab that seals Hafez’ actual tomb, is engraved with calligraphy of some of Hafez’ poetry.

Now That All your worry Has proved such an Unlucrative Business, Why Not Find a better Job.

tomb of hafez shiraz

The 8 columns of the Tomb of Hafez support a copper dome covered in an arabesque mosaic, in the shape of a dervish’s hat. A dervish is is someone who follws a Sufi Muslim ascetic path or “Tariqah”, known for their extreme poverty and austerity.

tomb of hafez shiraz

I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.

tomb of hafez shiraz

It’s a special place for many Shirazis, proud of their home-grown and world famous poet and if you ever want to know what any of the poems say, there are no shortage of friendly locals who will help you out with a translation, along with a tale of their favourite Hafez poem and what it means to them.

tomb of hafez shiraz

Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I would like to see you living In better conditions.

tomb of hafez shiraz

The Tomb of Hafez is a must visit attraction for anyone who travels to Shiraz. When you visit you can’t help but contemplate life, and feel a shared sense of calm with the others in the gardens.

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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