Chapter Critique 3: Persian and Arabian Literature
By Harlem Jude P. Ferolino

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,
It’s not my fault that with a broken heart, I’ve gone this way.
In front of a mirror they have put me like a parrot,
And behind the mirror the Teacher tells me what to say.
Whether I am perceived as a thorn or a rose, it’s
The Gardener who has fed and nourished me day to day.
O friends, don’t blame me for this broken heart;
Inside me there is a great jewel and it’s to the Jeweler’s shop I go.
Even though, to pious, drinking wine is a sin,
Don’t judge me; I use it as a bleach to wash the color of hypocrisy away.
All that laughing and weeping of lovers must be coming from some other place;
Here, all night I sing with my winecup and then moan for You all day.
If someone were to ask Hafiz, “Why do you spend all your time sitting in
The Winehouse door?,” to this man I would say, “From there, standing,
I can see both the Path and the Way.
-  Hafiz
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“I’ve Said It Before and I’ll Say It Again” is a poem written by Hafiz, an ardent follower of Sufi Mysticism. Sufism is defined as the endeavour to produce a personal experience of the divine through mystic and ascetic discipline.

The poem is about a Sufi drinking wine as a symbol of purification. Purification or “the cleansing of the soul” is one aspect of Sufi Mysticism. Discussed in this poem is the philosophy that our soul belongs to the supreme Spirit, the source of all, and will return from it when the soul’s purpose is done. Through the mystic and ascetic discipline of Sufism, the soul realizes its purpose and his path of spirituality.