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O Beloved, upon this river of wine, launch our boat-shaped cup,
And into this river throw those weeping with envy, too.
Winebringer, throw a cask of wine into my boat,
For without that–for forty days and nights on the open sea–
I will die of thirst.
I am lost in this city and can no longer find the Winehouse door.
Please help me to find that street again where Love resides.
Bring me a cup of wine that is dark red and smells like musk.
Don’t bring me that expensive brand that tastes like money
and smells like lust.
Even though I am drunk and worthless, be kind to me,
And on this dark heart shine the light of Your smile.
If it’s sun at midnight that you desire, throw the veil from
The face of the rose, and you will have all the light you need.
If I die, don’t let them bury me in a dusty grave;
Take my corpse to the Winehouse and throw me into a cask of wine!
Hafiz, if you have had enough of this world and all its violence,
Then take up the cup, and from the inside let this liquid love make peace.
–Khw?ja Šamsu d-D?n Mu?ammad H?fiz-e Š?r?z? (????? ????????? ???? ???? ??????), Ghazal No. 377 (ca. 1370)(T.R. Crowe transl., Drunk on the Wine of the Beloved: 100 Poems of Hafiz, reproduced with kind permission of the translator.)
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”