At kharābāt with Hafez: Exploring Persian Poetry together with the Divine Drunkard

Starting on February 21st (8pm PT)

Language of Instruction: English

Instructor: Ruben S. Nikoghosyan

Duration of the Course: 8 weeks (16 hours)

Frequency: once per week

Duration of each class: 2 hours 

Participation Fee: 180 USD

Deadline for ApplicationsFebruary 18th.

Level of Persian: Intermediate, Advanced

Location: Online (Zoom classroom)

Text Edition: Ḥāfeẓ. Divān. Edited by Moḥammad Qazvini and Qāsem Ḡani. Tehran, 1320 ŠH./1941 AD.

Registration requirements: In order to register for the course, please send an email to, confirming your participation by February 18th. After confirmation, you will be kindly asked to process the payment by February 20th, after which you will get a confirmation together with the details about the first class.

Refund: You can get a full refund in case you decide to cancel after the first class, no questions asked.

Anyone who knows anything about Persian literature has heard the name of Hafez. Hafez of Shiraz, one of the greatest poets who have ever trod on the Iranian soil, is known to all Iranians. Everyone knows something about him, and many are those who have memorized at least a few bayts from his divan.

All this said, I would encourage anyone interested in his poetry to ask themselves these questions: how much do we really know about this prominent mystique, and how well can we understand his poems? Who really was Hafez and who was he in love with?

I admit, it is hard to answer these questions. There is no simple answer, and finding it is as complex as the character of this complex and mysterious ‘rend.’

This 8-week course is designed for all those who want to get in real touch with the poetry of Hafez and learn how to appreciate it better.



There is one simple yet very effective method that I use when teaching my course, and it consists of combining the literary, historical-linguistic, and philological methods to shed light on even the most obscure passages and words of a given text. During this course, I will use my familiarity with pre-Islamic (Middle) Persian language and literature, Iranian and non-Iranian languages, broader historical, geographical, and most importantly, literary contexts, to illuminate the meanings of the words, expressions, and ideas found in the text.

This method, which at its base consists of explaining the basis and logic of the text, will help the participants not only to understand the ghazals read but also have the necessary tools to try reading other ghazals on their own.


Course Structure

The course is scheduled to run for 8 weeks, with a two-hour session each week. The primary objective of every class is to engage with and analyze two poems in depth. Each session will include meticulous grammatical, etymological, and lexical analyses for every word, leaving no room for ambiguity.

The classes will be interactive, allowing participants to read segments of the poems themselves. The instructor will guide them through the translation process, fostering a collaborative learning environment. Thought exchange is highly encouraged, and a dedicated Q&A section will provide an opportunity for students to seek clarification and receive answers from the instructor.


The benefits of the course


1. In-Depth Understanding of Hafez’s Poetry:

Gain profound insights into the poetry of Hafez, exploring the nuances and deeper meanings of his ghazals.


2. Comprehensive Approach:

Benefit from a comprehensive teaching method that combines literary, historical-linguistic, and philological approaches for a holistic understanding.


3. Exploration of Mystical Themes:

Delve into the mystique of Hafez’s character and poetry, exploring questions about his identity, his muses, and the complexity of his poetic expression.


4. Multidisciplinary Insights:

Learn from an instructor with expertise in Iran’s pre-Islamic language and literature, as well as proficiency in Iranian and non-Iranian languages. Gain insights from broader historical, geographical, and literary contexts.


5. Effective Teaching Method:

Acquire a simple yet effective method that combines different approaches to elucidate even the most intricate passages and words in Hafez’s poetry.


6. Tools for Independent Analysis:

Develop the necessary tools to independently analyze and appreciate not only the ghazals covered in the course but also other ghazals on your own.


7. Enhanced Appreciation of Persian Literature:

Cultivate a deeper appreciation for Persian literature, especially the rich tradition represented by Hafez.


8. Practical Application of Knowledge:

Apply the knowledge gained during the course to interpret and understand classical Persian poetry, fostering a lifelong love for literary exploration.

Interested in the Course?


Ruben S. Nikoghosyan

Instructor of Classical Persian and Pahlavi Literature


Ruben S. Nikoghosyan (Yerevan, Armenia)
Number: +37498513969 (WhatsApp)