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Kamran Scot Aghaie, Chair CAL 528 | 204 W 21st St F9400 | Austin, TX 78712-1029 • 512-471-3881

Fall 2005

PRS 384C • Hafez and Classical Persian Lyric Poetry

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
41195 TTh
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
CAL 323
Hillmann, M

Course Description

Hâfez and Classical Persian Lyric Poetry. A Persian Literature Course. This course deals with the most famous kind of Persian poetry, the short lyric verse form called ghazal. The course is designed specifically (but not exclusively) for Iranian-American students who have heard the word "Hâfez" in family and Iranian-American social circles and who guess that knowing about Hâfez and being able to read and recite a Hâfezian ghazal have cultural and social significance. In each course session, participants learn one or two, famous, short Persian poems, most of them ghazals by Hâfez (d.c. 1390), the most famous Persian lyric poet in history. "Learning" a poem means listening to multiple readings of it, getting definitive answers to questions about the meaning of unfamiliar words, phrases, and statements, appreciating its cultural context, defining the specific experience which a specific poem communicates, practicing a poem out loud, and discussing what is and is not appealing or effective about a specific poem. The course makes easy a subject which most native speakers of Persian describe as very difficult. By the end of the course, students can read Hâfezian ghazals with ease, perhaps with greater ease than those native speakers of Persian who talk about how difficult or impossible it is to understand Hâfez. As for the the Persian texts themselves, each text in the course syllabus comes with an English translation and relevant notes about the poet's life and times, the poet's debts to earlier Persian poets, Sufism, and such features of traditional Persian poetry as rhyme, meter, and figures of speech. The sole course textbook is a packet of texts, translations, and notes called Hâfez Course Syllabus, available for purchase at Paradigm Books on the first day of the course. Included in the packet is a copy of chapters from M. Hillmann's Hâfez: The Persian Poets' Poet (2006, draft manuscript).

Grading Policy

Class participation: 40% of course grade; Two review tests: 30% or the course grade each; Graduate students who take the course for graduate credit also write a research paper of 8-14 pages on an assigned topic.


"Hâfez Course Syllabus" Packet


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