HAFEZ: Shakespeare's Globe


HAFEZ: Shakespeare's Globe
by Hafez for Beginners

HAFEZ: Shakespeare's Globe:



Hafez has a wonderful line, included in today's Blog, celebrating his gratitude for the fact that the Tavern/"Meykadeh" is open. Taverns would often be shut down by the  authorities - and here, he is happy that the Tavern Door, the place he best connects to his higher world,  is open.

المنهّ لله که در میکده باز است

زان رو که مرا بر در او روی نیاز است

Thanks be to God that the Tavern's door is open -  still

So I can go on to fix my gaze towards its door - at will



Shakespeare, and all artists have their own version of a "tavern" - a place that enables their souls to dance. The Globe Theatre, where Shakespeare's plays were performed in London, was built in 1599 - where Shakespeare and his actors would rehearse and put on Plays. The Globe was also open to the most ordinary and eccentric of audiences. Theatre in those days was not the exclusive domain of the "elite" or "intellectuals." The Pit area, the open standing room area in front of the stage, held these audiences, while the seated balconies did cater to folks from the higher echelons of society.

By 1644 Puritans were ruling England and the Globe Theatre was torn down. The theatre community was considered to be a very "impure" breed! The Globe remained closed for 350 years!

Sam Wanamaker: Then...  Sam Wanamaker - an American of Jewish, Ukrainian heritage, came along. Wanamaker had first visited London in the 1940s and at the site of the original Globe Theatre, found himself feeling deeply dismayed to find a blackened plaque as the only remnant of the iconic building.

Back in America, the McCarthy era "Red Scare" - another form of Puritanism kicked in in the early 1950s, had Wanamaker and actor and film director, who had been a member of various left wing organizations, was blacklisted. Wanamaker left America in the early 1950s to set up home in the UK. He immediately put on his "to do" list  his vision to re-create the Globe. In stark contrast to the less visionary attitudes surrounding him in the UK - his American "Can Do" attitude had him remain resolute when it came to this dream. "Undismayed by the skepticism of his British colleagues" - as the NYT wrote in his obituary in 1993,  Wanamaker persevered.

"Shakespeare's Globe": In 1997 Shakespeare's Globe - a few hunderd yards from the site of the original Globe - opened its door and the Tavern's Door was open again!

Sam  Wanamaker had passed away a few years ealier in 1993, but a blue plaque honoring his collossal effort sits on the walls of the Globe. His daugher, Zoe Wanamker is a reputable Royal Shakespeare Company actress and you might have seen both Sam and Zoe in many a film or stage production.

What's fascinating to me is that Puritans closed and tore down the original Globe Theatre in 1644.  3 centuries later, another form of Puritans caused Sam Wanamaker to seek refuge in the UK - and by an incredible twist of fate reconstruct the theatre some 350 years later. One Puritan closed it -  then another Puritan caused an exodus, that caused the re-opening of the Globe! You've got to love that!

And the Brits have their "Meykadeh"/Tavern back!

 Afsaneh Mirfendereski


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Always in the direction of the Meykadeh

by Hafez for Beginners on


Oon Yaroo: ّThe Arabic first term is I think pronounced: "Al menatollah" and the translation is "Shokr-eh khoda."

In our literature, sitting at someone's door - symbolizes being in awe of them, worshipping them. Here the "door" comes up too,  and he wants to permanently be in looking that way, in the direction of this door and Always turn to the Meykadeh as his way to sustain his life.

Another good translation of the whole line:

"Thanks be to God that the Winehouse door now open wide is,

So that forever upon that door the face of my need applied is." Paul Smith


Science vs. Human Emotions:

Many literature lovers started life getting a 7/20 in schoo literature. That's because High School often teaches literature analytically. "Compare and Contrast" and I myself, only loved Shakespeare later in life. In High School, we studied literature as if it was a science - and I learned that it was entirely about human emotions - much later in life. In other words, do consdier revisiting the domain! 


Oon Yaroo

Dear HFB!

by Oon Yaroo on

Please let me right of the bat make a disclaimer here that Persian literature has always been my weakest subject specially in high school in 1978. In fact, I received a passing grade of 7 out of 20 and even that was despite my cheating from a classmate!

Now to the Hafez poem you have quoted above - are you sure it's Almenah Allah and not Alham dore Allah? 

Secondly, does the second line imply Hafez's desire to drink wine and get into the state of mastti rather than gazing at the wall?

Of course, I may be totally wrong and I shall defer to the experts to chime in and make their own observations.