Here in the West, the poet Rumi seems to be held as the archetypal ecstatic poet. The more I learn about the art itself, the more definite this truth feels to me. Rumi's work is so quintessential, in fact, that most other spiritually-inclined poet/mystics are eclipsed by his work. Even to be compared to Rumi, to stand beside him and be recognized as a poet of comparable depth, seems to speaks many volumes.
Though their lives were separated by almost a century, the poet known as Hafez has always called to me. So drawn was I to his wisdom that I even included an excerpt from one of his poems, "Tired of Speaking Sweetly," in Thirsty Camel as part of a chapter's preface. Much could be written regarding a comparison between the two, but I feel like letting Hafez's words speak for themselves. Lately, there's been a huge motion in my life to read less Rumi and more Hafez. And today, I found this:
will someday split you open
even if your life is now a cage,
For a divine seed, the crown of destiny,
is hidden and sown on an ancient, fertile plain
you hold the title to."