Review: The Nightingales Are Drunk – Hafez

the nightingales are drunk‘Drunk or sober, king or soldier, none will be excluded’ 

Sensual, profound, delighted, wise, Hafez’s poems have enchanted their readers for more than 600 years. One of the greatest figures of world literature, he remains today the most popular poet in modern Iran. 

Rating: 3/5

Yes, dear readers, as part of my vow to broaden my literary horizons this year, I have even delved into some poetry. Hafez, also spelled as Hafiz, is responsible for some of the most profound, most reassuring, most lovely, most Pinterest-graphic worthy quotations that we have today.

This particular volume didn’t win me over me as much as I hoped, but it was still an interesting compilation – he writes a lot about wine and roses in this edition –  a poet after my own heart! He also tackles religion, discussing both his love for and questioning of faith and the overall institution.

And I’ve totally found a verse to describe my evenings out, ha:

Flirtatious games, and youth,
And wine like rubies glowing
Convivial company
And drink that’s always flowing;

Kindhearted friends to drink with,
Servants who act discreetly,
Companions who keep secrets,
Whom we can trust completely;

I thought I’d add a couple of my favourite Hafez quotations from his other work, just because his genius deserves to be shared.

hafiz quotes

hafiz quotes


8 thoughts on “Review: The Nightingales Are Drunk – Hafez

  1. Love. Love. I’m not familiar with this author and their work, but man, poetry? I don’t know. I’ve always been a fan of the verse style of story telling, but I don’t think I’ve ever experimented reading poetry before. I feel like I’m going to do very poorly. Lol. Good on you, though!


    1. I discovered the poet on pinterest, of all things, and loved the quotes that people had illustrated. I hated poetry at school, but I’m trying to rediscover it on my own terms, without being forced into it.


  2. I was fortunate enough to attend a reading of Harfiz poetry in Iran quite a number of years ago and was spellbound even though it was read in Farsi (I only know a little Farsi, certainly not enough to understand poetry). The Iranians read Harfiz on Narooz which is their new year.
    It unites Iranians of different faiths — Muslims, Baha’is and Zoroastrians — they read from Hafiz by opening on a random page as an act of divination for the new year using Hafiz’s words. Usually the illustrations that accompany the poetry is exceptionally detailed and almost other – worldly. I have never experienced such a love of poetry (and words in general) in any other country like I did in Iran. Expressions and idioms flow through their speech daily like honey.


  3. Wow all these quotes are beautiful and moving, I have never been tempted to pick up the Penguin Black classics but after seeing this post, I’ll have to go hunt down at least a Hafez copy of it. Good on you for stumbling on such a great read after broadening your horizon ❤


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