Jean-Léon Gérôme: a bit of a Soof!

The Fat Banker notes from a cheese platter somewhere in NYC: He was one of my all time favs, and in my PhD days, long before I even observed he had graced the covers of Said’s “orientalism”, a print of his “Pigmallion and Galeta” used to adorn my hallway – until I got rich enough to purchase the original. if you see what I meAn.

A true Tailorite Soof, since his sojourn down to “Egypt” (geddit) whence this orientalist tafsir derives …

And round about them shall go youths never altering in age; when you see them you will think them to be scattered pearls. (76:19)

Hafiz i-Shirazi, Ghazl No. 10 from the Divan of Hafiz

His mop of hair tangled, sweating, laughing and drunk,

Shirt torn, singing poems, flask in hand,

His eyes spoiling for a fight, his lips mouthing “Alas!”

Last night at midnight he came and sat by my pillow.

He bent his head to my ear and said, sadly,

“O, my ancient lover, are you sleeping?”

The seeker to whom they give such a cup at dawn

Is an infidel to love if he will not worship the wine.

O hermit, go and do not quibble with those who drink the dregs,

For on the eve of creation this was all they gave to us.

What he poured in our cup we drank,

Whether the mead of Heaven, or the wine of drunkenness.

The cup’s smile and the wine boy’s knotted curl

Have broken many vows of chastity, like that of Hafiz.


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