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Hafiz, a secret Sufi, came to prominence in his day as a writer of love poems. That love transformed into an
all-consuming passion for union with the divine. In The Gift, Daniel Ladinsky bestows on us the impassioned yet
whimsical strains of Hafiz's ecstasy. Never forced or awkward, Ladinsky's Hafiz whispers in your ear and pounds in your
chest, naming God in a hundred metaphors.
I once asked a bird,
"How is it that you fly in this gravity
Me." Like Fitzgerald's version of Khayyam's Rubaiyat, the language of The Gift strikes a contemporary chord,
resonating in the reader's mind and then in the heart. Ladinsky's language is plain, fresh, playful--dancing with an
expert cadence that invites and surprises. If it is true, as Hafiz says, that a poet is someone who can pour light into
a cup, reading Ladinsky's Hafiz is like gulping down the sun. --Brian Bruya