Archive for the ‘Hafiz’ Category

Spiced Manna

December 2, 2007

Here is a poem of Hafiz, translated by Dan Ladinsky:


Someone will steal you if you don’t stay near, and sell you as a slave in the market.   

I sing to the nightingales’ hearts, hoping they will learn my verse, so that no one will ever imprison your brilliant angel feathers. Have I put enough spiced manna on your plate tonight in this Tavern where Hafiz serves?                                                                                                                 

If not please wait, for more light is now fermenting. Someone will steal you if you don’t stay near, and sell you as a slave in the Market, so your Beloved and I sing.   

Our students’ minds will be stolen and sold in the market of curricular objectives, essential outcomes, and textbooks unless we keep them near and safe? How?

We must keep them focused on our verse. If we put enough SPICED MANNA, enough RICH input in the target language, enough input that is about THEM, we will keep them interested. Each time we review their questionnaires, each time we refer to them in PQA or a story, each time we assign and christen a new name, each time we make THEM the subject and object of our verbing, we keep the fermentation process going. Each new day. We sing to them. To keep them out of the market.


Dividing God

December 2, 2007

Here is another poem by Hafiz, translated by Dan Ladinsky:


The moon starts singing when everyone is asleep and the planets throw a bright robe around their shoulders and whirl up  close to her side.    

Once I asked the moon, why do you and your sweet friends not perform so romantically like that to a larger crowd? And the whole sky chorus resounded:

The admission price to hear the lofty minstrels speak of love is affordable only to those who have not exhausted themselves dividing God all day and thus need rest.   

The thrilled Tavern fiddlers who are perched on the roof do not want their notes to intrude upon the ears where an accountant lives with a sharp pencil, keeping a score of words that another in their great sorrow or sad anger may have once said to you.   

Hafiz knows:  The sun will stand as your best man and whistle when you have found the courage  to marry forgiveness, when you have found the courage to marry Love

We forgive our students and ourselves for all stupid judgements. We stop trying to divide language into little pieces, which is exhausting. We just ask stories. We know that when we do this, the words are not the big deal. The meaning is the big deal.

How do we create meaning? We personalize our classes around each child. For this we need to try to become minstrels. Perched on the roof, the minstrels in the poem above reach to the heart of their listeners in the same way that we must reach to the hearts of our students, not through words but through meaningful input.

Dropping Keys

December 2, 2007

Here is another poem written by the Persian master Hafiz. It is taken from The Gift, translated from the Persian by Dan Ladinsky.


The small man builds cages for everyone he knows, while the sage, who has to duck his head when the moon is low, keeps dropping keys all night long for the beautiful rowdy prisoners.

When we treat students with love and respect, we recognize them as PEOPLE who yearn for freedom in the ways that they learn, and that is enough. Good storyasking is no more than dropping keys for our students.