Quatrain 53

در کار‌‌گه کوزه‌گران رفتم دوش

دیدم دو هزار کوزه گویای خموش

این کوزه بدان کوزه ممی‌گفت به جوش

کو کوزه‌گر و کوزه‌خر وکوزه‌فروش

Dashti, quatrain 42, p. 251

dar kaargah-e kuze garaan raftam dush
didam do hazaar kuze guyaa-ye khamush
'in kuze bedaan kuze hamigoft be jush
ku kuzegar o kuzekhar o kuzeforush
 

In the warehouse of the potters last night
two thousand pots spoke out their silence...
this one to that one swelling and seething:
'Where 's potter and buyer -- and where's the seller?'

 

در کار‌‌گه کوزه‌گران رفتم دوش

دیدم دو هزار کوزه گویای خموش

ناگاه یکی کوزه بر‌آورد خروش

کو کوزه‌گر و کوزه‌خر و کوزه‌فروش

Saidi, quatrain 104


dar kaargah-e kuzegaraan raftam dush
didam do hazaar kuze guyaa-ye khamush
naagaah yeki kuze baraavard khorush
ku kuzegar o kuzekhar o kuzeforush

I saw at a potter's shop one dusk of day,

Two thousand voiced but silent pots of clay;

One vessel then on sudden cried aloud:

"Where are they--potter, seller, buyer--pray?"

Saidi (104)  
 


Note on variants:
The last line of this quatrain reads the same in Dashti and Saidi (above) as well as in Forughi-Ghani (117), Hedaayat (73) and Whinfield (283).  In the first line, Forughi, Hedaayat and Whinfield agree with Saidi's reading کوزه‌گری, kuzegari -- 'a potter' ; Hedaayat has budam instead of raftam.  In the second line, Forughi, Hedaayat and Whinfield read: گویا و خموش, guyaa o khamush - "speaking and silent"; Forughi and Whinfield, along with Saidi above, have identical third lines.  Hedaayat has instead:  هر یک بزبان حال با من گفتند, har yek bezabaan-e haal baa man goftand -- "every one spoke to me like they would speak if they could speak" or does it simply mean they spoke to the point, to the emotion or sentiment felt?

Translation & Discussion of the quatrain:
1.  In the warehouse of the potters I went last night 2.  I saw two thousand pots speakers of silence -- I believe this means that they broke their silence by speaking out -- they emerged from silence, they spoke be zabaan-e haal,  in language and sentiment which speaker and hearer of this quatrain would know the pots would have expressed 3.  This pot to that pot said over and over on the boil/This pot to that pot spoke at the boiling point ... 4. Where is the potter and the buyer and the seller -- I emphasize 'and' since the conjunction و/o is in this mesraa uncharacteristically "long" and will receive emphasis, which to my untrained ears, ironically links the three together, sarcastically may be a better word -- the potter, the seller and buyer who in the end are all broken under the march of fate.  I am curious about Hazhir Teimourian's rendering of this quatrain (I have just received his Omar Khayyām: Poet, Rebel, Astronomer, Sutton Publishing, 2007):


To a potter's shop did I go last night,

To my eyes his art made a soothing sight.

Suddenly murmured a tall jug of clay:

'May to December, December to May!"
 


What does he mean 'May to December, December to May!'?  The expression "six of one, half dozen of another" first comes to mind: it's all the same, these three will all pass out of existence.  Quatrain 59 in this weblog corroborates the cycle of ceaseless repetition: "The endless round of Teer and Dey has flung/A hundred thousand Jams and Keys on clay" (Saidi, quatrain 6 quoted in weblog  Quatrain 59).  Is it likely that the "ku-repetitions" in the last line of weblog 55 will remind the viewer (they remind me) of the fate of  "Jams and Keys" , in which the lone ring-dove coos her refrain "where/ku have all past kings and heroes gone ... gone where, gone where ?"

And at last, FitzGerald:

Whereat some one of the  loquacious Lot--

I think a Súfi pipkin--waxing hot--

"All this of Pot and Potter--Tell me then,

"Who makes--Who sells--Who buys--Who is the Pot?"
FitzGerald, stanza LXXXVII, 4th ed. 

FitzGerald in his note on this stanza (4th ed) remarks on the "relation of Pot and Potter to Man and his Maker" in world literature. 

This stanza as previous kuze stanzas we have quoted are part of a kuze sequence in FitzGerald.  Iran Hassani Jewett unfolds the arrangement and changes throughout FitzGerald's editions (Edward FitzGerald, 109-111--see full citation in bibliography). Both of FitzGerald's MS sources apparently concur with the text of Saidi's above (Arberry, Romance... 228).

 

And this thought:
'These ceramics are like our life: colorful, fragile yet robust, full of hidden meaning yet easily understood (especially if we let a few years pass by ...), sweet and pure, simple and fraught with mystery.  Like each of us, an unrepeatable miracle of creation.  Man made of clay and ceramics made of clay: surely there is reason for this, and if we stop to think for a moment, this is something we have always known.'

(Persian Ceramics: From the 9th to the 14th Century, Giovanni Curatola ed., Skira, Milan, 2006, p. 23)