Thursday, November 28, 2013

As under cover of departing Day
Slunk hunger-stricken Ramazan away,
Once more within the Potter's house alone
I stood, surrounded by the Shapes of Clay.

Shapes of all Sorts and Sizes, great and small,
That stood along the floor and by the wall;
And some loquacious Vessels were; and some
Listen'd perhaps, but never talk'd at all.

Said one among them--"Surely not in vain
My substance of the common Earth was ta'en
And to this Figure moulded, to be broke,
Or trampled back to shapeless Earth again."

Then said a Second--"Ne'er a peevish Boy
Would break the Bowl from which he drank in joy,
And He that with his hand the Vessel made
Will surely not in after Wrath destroy."

After a momentary silence spake
Some Vessel of a more ungainly Make;
"They sneer at me for leaning all awry:
What! did the Hand then of the Potter shake?"

Whereat some one of the loquacious Lot--
I think a Sufi pipkin-waxing hot--
"All this of Pot and Potter--Tell me then,
Who is the Potter, pray, and who the Pot?"

"Why," said another, "Some there are who tell
Of one who threatens he will toss to Hell
The luckless Pots he marr'd in making--Pish!
He's a Good Fellow, and 'twill all be well."

"Well," Murmur'd one, "Let whoso make or buy,
My Clay with long Oblivion is gone dry:
But fill me with the old familiar juice,
Methinks I might recover by and by."

So while the Vessels one by one were speaking,
The little Moon look'd in that all were seeking:
And then they jogg'd each other, "Brother! Brother!
Now for the Porter's shoulder-knot a-creaking!"

 - stanzas 82 through 90 of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam translated(?) by Edward Fitzgerald, Third Edition

4 comments:

chromal said...

I hope you've been well. Getting into collective a wide swath of old vinyl LPs lately, came across one by Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians and wondered if there was any relationship to your old friend...

Still have the silver Civic, gonna overhaul its engine this summer probably. 228K on the odometer. Another three cars, 'for fun.' For now. Working on cars loses its charm when you own no garage or pavement.

Boy, we sure do live in interesting times...

chromal said...

I hope you've been well. I've been getting into old vinyl LPs, walking into thrift stores and buying it wholesale, discovering lots of stuff that was never rereleased on CD much less online. Came across some stuff by Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians (In Hi-Fi!) and wondered if there were any connections there...

Anyway, I hope you're well. Still work Linux/IT. Still have that Silver Honda Civic, 228K. Engine overhaul soon, good thing I have another three cars/toys. c_c

Mitch H. said...

You're thinking of Fred Ramsey, and I don't think he was ever a professional musician, maybe something in drum-circling, but nothing that would result in a vinyl record.

I assume you've heard that Jason Gullickson and Jeremy Zidek are getting married? Uh, not to each other...

chromal said...

Hmm, I hadn't heard about Jeremy's plans, but have been in occasional IM contact with Jason. Well, I wish them the best with their individual marriages. I think they probably know their partners and themselves to make a realistic go at it, unlike kids married much younger.