Shiraz is the city of love and literature. It has long been associated with flower gardens and nightingales. If you visit Shiraz in spring, you will find the city covered with blossoming citrus trees which create a heavenly scent. This is due to the geographical location of Shiraz. The city is farther away from Iran’s central deserts compared to other famous cities such as Isfahan and Yazd which gives it a moderate and pleasant climate.
In other words, Shiraz has a reputation for being romantic. Over the centuries, many notable Persian poets have praised the city, like Ferdowsi, Baba Taher, and Sanai. But more importantly, Shiraz has nurtured many poets with two standing at the top of the list: Hafez and Saadi. Ask any Iranian who the top 3 poets of Persian literature are and you’ll no doubt hear at least one of these two names. Both the tombs of Hafez and Saadi are in Shiraz.
The word Hafez is in fact a title given to those who memorize the verses of the holy Quran. Hafez earned the title when he memorized the entire Quran. The use of Arabic vocabulary and religious concepts in his poetry bear witness to Hafez’s wealth of Quranic knowledge. His poetry is so integral to Persian culture that people consult his book of poems (Divan of Hafez) when they want to wish for something on a special occasion.
Saadi was another major Persian poet. Unlike Hafez, he didn’t limit his works to poetry. As a well-traveled literary, he explores the nature of life and shows us the deeper and hidden meanings through his works: Bustan (poetry) and Gulistan (prose). His phenomenal works have earned him the nickname of “The Master of Words” among Iranians.