Hafiz (d.1390) is honoured as the greatest lyric poet of Iran and its greatest writer of ghazals, the form which he perfected, and Peter Avery as one of the most eminent scholars of Persian poetry of the West. It was his late friend, the great Iranian scholar Parviz Natil Khanlari, who edited what is often accepted as the most reliable collection of poems, or Diván-i Hafiz.
It is this complete collection, 486 poems in all, that Avery has translated here into English for the first time with extensive annotation. A primary aim has been to render them as literally as possible while trying to convey some sense of the poetry of Hafiz, the Shakespeare of Persian literature, to the reader who lacks knowledge of Persian, as this Divan is without doubt one of mankind's greatest literary achievements.
Iranians call their great poet the Lisanu'l-ghayb, the Tongue of the Invisible. This is the only complete collection of Hafiz in English translation currently available.