Interpreting Affection: A Comparative Analysis of Pedophilia Theme in Hafiz’s Poetry Translated by Bicknell, Clarke, Smith, Bly, and Lewisohn

Abstract:    This paper examines the translations of Hafiz’s poetry by Herman Bicknell, Henry Wilberforce Clarke, Paul Smith, Robert Bly, and Leonard Lewisohn, focusing on the portrayal of themes related to pedophilia. Through a comparative analysis of selected verses and a discussion of the translators’ strategies, the study sheds light on the varying approaches to depicting the beloved within the context of Persian literature. Bicknell and Clarke’s translations openly acknowledge pedophilic themes, explicitly identifying the beloved as male, while Smith’s translation often avoids explicit gender attribution, opting for a more expansive vocabulary to circumvent gender-specific connotations. Conversely, Bly and Lewisohn predominantly attribute love to God in their mystical interpretation of Hafiz’s poetry. However, in select instances, they portray the beloved as female.

     Keywords: Pedophilia, Translation Studies, Hafiz, Bicknell, Clarke, Smith, Bly and Lewisohn.

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