Sun Mar 6 11:39:03 PST 2016

Omar Khayyam

I decided today, as one does, to take a look at an original Omar Khayyam quatrain.

The reason for this is the wide variety of translations that ones sees in places like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubaiyat_of_Omar_Khayyam

If the translations are so variable - what is that the original text says - I wondered.

So, I dug up a 'potter' quatrain:

Omar Khayyam Potter - click to enlarge
(Omar Khayyam Potter - click to enlarge)
 

Here is the transliteration of the Farsi - I have not figured out how to put Farsi onto a web page, I am afraid. And even if I had - it is difficult to read!

dar kargah e kuzegari raftam dush
didam dohezar kuze guye va khamush
nagah yeki kuze bar avard kurush
ku kuzegar o kuzekhar o kuzefurush

And here is what those words mean literally:

dar kargah e kuzegari raftam dush In the warehouse of the potter I went last night.
didam dohezar kuze guye va khamush I saw two thousand pots talking and silent
nagah yeki kuze bar avard kurush Suddenly one pot erupted...
ku kuzegar o kuzekhar o kuzefurush Who is the potter, and pot buyer, and pot seller?

So everything rhymes with the ending '-ush' and the general scene is a mysterious collection of things formed from clay musing on the mystery of where they came from and where they are going.

I am not sure that the Europeanized versions are as interesting as the original!

And here is a clip from YouTube with that quatrain - (but note that it has a slightly different middle section) - the potter quatrain starts at 8:08:

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Posted by ZFS | Permanent link | File under: persian
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