Tangled Braid: 99 poems by Hafiz of Shiraz

Jeffrey Einboden, John Slater


The Tangled Braid offers a fresh translation of one of the supreme spiritual poets – Hafiz of Shiraz. A unique collaboration between a Cistercian monk (John Slater) and an Islamic scholar (Jeffrey Einboden), this volume combines precision and, voicing Hafiz’ esoteric verses through powerful English lines.


  • 9781891785429
  • 115

Product Description

As suggested by its title, The Tangled Braid interweaves a variety of discrete literary strands, knitting together spiritual meaning and sensual image; Muslim source and Western reader; classical Persian verse and modern English poetics. This translation aims to wed aesthetics and erudition, presenting a work of pleasure that is also intellectually enriching and spiritually invigorating.

Generated through conversation and exchange, these poetic translations provide an authentic means of crossing religious and cultural borders, admitting contemporary audiences into the illimitable world of Persian Sufism.

Translations of Sufi poetry in the West continue to attract wide, diverse readerships. In 2002, Time magazine recognized Coleman Barks’ The Essential Rumi to be ‘easily the most successful poetry book published in the West in the past decade’.


The Tangled Braid is many translations at once: a scholar’s, a monk’s, and a poet’s. Hafiz’ poems contain worlds, showing a remarkable ability to beckon translations and diverse forms of response. Yet few translations have managed to match their exquisite combination of pristine clarity and insistent openness. Ultimately, Hafiz calls for a translator with many minds, and this translation answers.
Michelle Gil-Montero, Assistant Professor of English, Saint Vincent College.
"What a wonderful stimulus for interfaith dialogue, which too often founders on dull platitudes and grim debates. “The Tangled Braid” restores the imagination to its rightful place, enabling us to laugh and cry with Hafiz as he pursues the divine and the mortal."
George Dardess, author of Meeting Islam: A Guide for Christians, and Do We Worship the Same God? The Bible and the Qur'an Compared.
"The verses of Hafiz have long inspired poets, and now Einboden and Slater have wedded accurate translation to an elegant, poetic simplicity, that brings the clarity and mystery of the Persian's compact stanzas, that sing once again in English."
Sidney H. Griffith, author of The Church in the Shadow of the Mosque: Christians and Muslims in the World of Islam.