Just as Coleman Barks had spiritual vision of Sufi Master Bawa Muhaiyyaddin which initiated and deeply connected Coleman into the work of Rumi whole-heartedly - similar is the case of Daniel Ladinsky and his vision of Hafiz.
I quote from an article by Murat Nemet-Nejate on Daniel Ladinsky and Hafiz Poems published in fourth issue of ReadMe edited by Gary Sullivan.
As an "original" poem, the book (The Gift) belongs to the tradition of visionary, religious writing, as the following quote from its introduction makes clear: "I feel my relationship to Hafiz defies all reason and is really an attempt to do the impossible: to translate Light into words - to make the luminous resonance of God tangible to our finite senses. About six months into this work I had an astounding dream in which I saw Hafiz an an Infinite Fountaining Sun, who sang hundreds of lines of his poetry to me in English, asking me to give that message to ‘my artists and seekers’"
As God talked to Moses in Hebrew, to Mohammad in Arabic, Hafiz spoke to Daniel Ladinsky in English. Mr. Ladinsky is translating a dream, not a 14th century Persian text. His preparation towards it has the aura of the road to Damascus, "My work with Hafiz began in the fall of 1992, on a early morning walk in the countryside of western India, on a beautiful tree-lined road that leads to the former residence of Meher Baba. ..."
Incredible as it may seem, there is not a single poem (gazel) of Hafiz of which any one of the poems in The Gift: Poems by Hafiz The Great Sufi Master is a translation or adaptation or extrapolation or deconstruction; no poem in the book is in dialectic relation to a specific Persian text. ... read the full article here.
Hafiz according to Daniel Ladinsky, is "one of the greatest spiritual friends, lovers, and guides that humankind has ever known." Daniel spent five years translating these ecstatic poems of this Sufi master who is considered to be the most beloved poet of Persia.
About | Daniel Ladinsky (born 1948) is an American author, poet and translator, best known for his interest in spiritual traditions around the world, particularly Hinduism, Islam and Sufism. He was born and raised in the Midwest United States. For six years he made his home in a spiritual community in western India, where he worked in a rural clinic free to the poor, and lived with the intimate disciples and family of Meher Baba.
In introductions to his Hafez poetry, Ladinsky notes that he offers interpretations of the poet Hafez, rather than translations. He believes that it is more important to convey the emotions in Hafez’s poetry than to keep the same rhythm in the English language, and he uses the most simple words possible. via wikipedia.
Ladinsky has published three volumes of Hafiz’ poetry in translation: "The Gift," "The Subject Tonight Is Love," and "I Heard God Laughing." His new book is an anthology titled "Love Poems from God."
:: Coleman Barks | Vision of Bawa Muhaiyaddeen and Rumi
:: More on Daniel Ladinsky @ Poetry Chaikhana, Poet Seers.
:: Selection of Poems by Daniel Ladinsky