Hafez’s Poetry in German and Persian
Art And Culture
Monday, April 16, 2018

Hafez’s Poetry in German and Persian

Tehran-based Ketabsara-ye-Nik Publication has published a book of selected poems by celebrated Persian poet Hafez (1315-1390) in German and Persian. Titled ‘400 Ghazals from Divan-e-Hafiz’, the German poems are renderings of Austrian diplomat and orientalist Vinzenz Rosenzweig von Schwannau (1791–1865). Iranian poet and translator Ali Abdollahi, 50, has edited the German poems for the new edition, Mehr News Agency reported. In international literature, Hafez’s name is closely associated with  German writer and poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. This is directly attributable to the status Goethe accords Hafez in his collection of lyrical poems ‘West-östlicher Divan’, first published in 1819.  The first complete German translation of Divan-e Hafez was made by the Austrian orientalist and diplomat, Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall (1774-1856). Hammer’s translation highly influenced Goethe’s appreciation and understanding of Hafez. The effect was such that all of the German translations of Hafez made in the second half of the 19th century are indebted to Goethe’s West-östlicher Divan.  According to Iranicaonline.org, it was during this period that two more complete translations of Hafez were published, those of Rosenzweig and of Hermann Brockhaus (1806-1877). Rosenzweig’s translation follows in the footsteps of Brockhaus. His work was a further complete translation of Hafez. Rosenzweig presented translations and originals on facing pages, and made explanatory notes at the end of his translation. This version is notable for its study of Persian poetical meter in general and works of Hafez in particular. It has become the basis for almost all modern German studies on the 14th century poet.



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