The Mullahs of Iran may have gotten more than they bargained for when they joined Khomeini in calling on parents to give birth to an Islamic Army. Within a generation, Iran almost doubled its population.

The problem for the theocracy in charge today is that the majority of these post revolution (1979) baby boomers, who account for more than half of Iran’s population and which Brian Murphy the author of The Root of Wild Madder: Chasing the History, Mystery, and Lore of the Persian Carpet. (Simon & Shuster, 2005) meets as he crisscrosses Iran in his quest for The Root of Wild Madder believe the mullahs' time is up.

Younger Iranians in particular are convinced that their time has come, and none to soon, if they are to rescue their beloved Persia from the morass into which mullah management has sunk it.

It’s not only the post revolution generations that seek a change in government. This desire for release from the one dimensional rule of the mullahs is most evident in the increase popularity of an already mythical fourteenth-century Iranian poet.

As Murphy discovers in his travels, what young and old most want to talk about when the subject is not carpets, is not the Koran, the Prophet or Islam, is the poetry of Hafez [1315-1390].

In one telling conversation with an Esfahan carpet dealer, Murphy asks his host if he could keep only one of three things: the Koran, his Persian carpets or the poetry of Hafez which would it be. Without hesitation his host answered Hafez, then his carpets, then the Koran.

Sohrab had often talked to me about the poetry of Hafez and how, to paraphrase Murphy, “Hafez is the lyrical expression of the Persian soul.”

Hafez is the Iranians' counterweight to the Koran. Hafez was a lover of life and a romantic. When Iranians need a reminder that there is more to life than the austere cruel world of the Koran, they turn to Hafez.

Hafez, according to Sohrab, is the metaphorical Sword of Damocles hanging over the mullahs’ heads and one day…

Sohrab has promised to get me a good English translation of Hafez. I look forward to it.

Bernard Payeur, September 22, 2009