EFEShiraz, Iran

There is a saying in Iran that every household has a copy of the Quran and a book by the poet Hafez, and for once this saying is not far from reality.

The 14th-century Persian poet remains to this day a cultural icon who evokes mass devotion.

The Tomb of Hafez, situated in a complex of serene rose gardens in the southern city of Shiraz, has become a spiritual and borderline religious pilgrimage point for devotees.

“His poems are sacred to me,” Shahrzad Mohammad, a woman dressed in elegant white, tells Efe between poetry recitals on the steps of the tomb, where she is joined by two friends.