I wanted to address -- an arrow here one of these reviews shot into me, the one dated August 5, 2009. But before that I want to say: I have bought several copies of this sweet publication over the years. And I feel Dover has done a great service in giving us this. And for any not aware of what a remarkable person Gertrude Bell was, they might enjoy searching some info about her on the web.
This book, "The Garden of Heaven," was very helpful to me at times with developing "My Portrait of Hafiz," as I sometimes refer to my work with him, and wrote an essay with that title I posted amongst Readers Reviews at Amazon ... under "The Gift, Poems by Hafiz," a Penguin publication. That essay/review is dated April 18, 2005.
For any wanting to make some reviews about my work (like the one by A. Windsor) more of a fair fight I would suggest they read two essays about the "Genesis" of my work with Hafiz that appear in my latest Hafiz effort, titled "A Year With Hafiz." One of those essays is called, "Releasing the Spirit of Hafiz." I would also point any sincerely interested in the foundation -- and inspiration -- behind my poetry publications to the October (2013) issue of The Sun magazine where they did an extensive interview about my Hafiz and Rumi work, and work with some of the greatest poet-saints in recorded history. That interview (which was totally unsolicited by me), i thought, asked some very direct and hard-hitting questions.
I love these words attributed to Hafiz:
"No one could ever paint a too wonderful
picture of my heart or God."
That seems to be the great task with Hafiz -- to reveal the grandeur of words, and to make tangible the Grace, the vital food, that can be in real poetry. Poetry at its height is the Sun speaking -- and lifting us up into its arms, if only for a blessed moment. A great, great thanks to any who help Hafiz do that. And he can. Indeed.
best-selling Penguin author of poetry
December 26, 2013