Persian: اگر مرد عشقی کم خویش گیر

Uzair00la

Member
English
Hey guys, I came across this stanza in bustaan of saadi. I'm having some difficulty making sense out of it.

اگر مرد عشقی کم خویش گیر
و گر نه ره عافیت پیش گیر

Does anyone have a clue what the first line is trying to say?

Thanks
 
  • Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    خویش means both "self" and "relative" as in family relative. But I am not sure which is meant here. Let's wait and hear from other friends.
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    خویش means both "self" and "relative" as in family relative.
    خویش is definitely self here.

    If you read it as : agar marde eŝqi kam xiŝ gir
    where kam here means kamtar and with خویش گیری meaning to be withdrawn/unsociable
    If you are a man of love, [then] be less withdrawn.

    Or read it as: agar marde eŝqi kame xiŝ gir
    where of course kam/کم stands for کام so کام خویش گیر / satisfy your own desires.
    If you are a man of love [then] satisfy your own desires.

    Of course it could be 'mard eŝqi' but then what could he possibly be saying.
     
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    fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    اگر مرد عشقی کم خویش گیر
    و گر نه ره عافیت پیش گیر


    “If you are a man of passion, seize (the object of) your desire.
    But if not, then pursue the path of those who are obliterated.”


    kam-e and rah-e are required by the metre.
     
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    Mnemon

    Senior Member
    Persian - Pārsi - 𐎱𐎾𐎿𐎡
    Hello @Uzair00la

    Hey guys, I came across this stanza in bustaan of saadi. I'm having some difficulty making sense out of it.

    اگر مرد عشقی کم خویش گیر
    و گر نه ره عافیت پیش گیر

    Does anyone have a clue what the first line is trying to say?
    Here's my two cents' worth,

    It should be kam-e and here it means (کاستی- نقصان). So I translate and interpret the first line as:

    "If you [think that you] are a man of Love, then, [you have got to] pay attention to your own deficiencies"

    Hope it helps.
     
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    Uzair00la

    Member
    English
    Hi guys,
    I think I found a reasonable interpretation. The line I presented had كم, but another version I read in an urdu book had گم.

    I realized that both کام and گام share some meanings.
    They both can come to mean "mouth" or دهان

    However, گام also means the reign of an animal. By way of extension, کام can metaphorically also mean the same thing. Hence, the meaning of the verse would then be
    "If you are a man of love, the reign of thyself hold. If not, then the path of safety choose."

    Holding one's reign is alluding towards the idea that the path is extremely bumpy and requires a grip on the beast being ridden upon.

    This interpretation fits nicely because it explains why the next line has ره in it.

    What do you guys think?
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    ^ کام means palate & is part of the mouth but not the mouth itself, metaphorically it means desire, wish.

    In Persian which this poetry is گام doesn’t mean reign, anyway where did this گ come from.

    The key to understanding the first line is the second line, if you are that way inclined then do it that way otherwise do the opposite.

    For that to be true only کم standing for کام will work, i.e. follow your desires
     
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    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Hi guys,
    I think I found a reasonable interpretation. The line I presented had كم, but another version I read in an Urdu book had گم.....
    I have searched through a number of prints of "Bostan-i-Sa'di", both from the Subcontinent and elsewhere. Majority of them have the word "کم" but in two the word printed is "گُم". One of these books is by Platts printed in 1891 and in his notes he explains "گُمِ خویش" as "گُم گشتۂ خویش" meaning "his own lost one" that being God. This to my mind makes more sense.

    اگر مرد عشقی گُمِ خویش گیر
    و گر نه ره عافیت پیش گیر

    If you are a man of love seek your own lost one
    Otherwise pursue the path of ease and comfort
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    What's your explanation for اگر and و گر نه and the role they play?

    اگر مرد عشقی کم خویش گیر if you are a man of enjoyment grab your desire(s) (drinking and staying up late etc.)
    و گر نه ره عافیت پیش گیر else follow the healthy path
     
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    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I have no explanation apart from agar = if and va gar nah = Otherwise. If x is true, do y. Otherwise do z.
     
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    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    I have no explanation apart from agar = if and va gar nah = Otherwise. If x is true, do y. Otherwise do z.
    Surely the explanation must be that the meaning of y and z (as you have it) must be the opposite of one another, otherwise why would anyone use if and else/otherwise?
     
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    Mnemon

    Senior Member
    Persian - Pārsi - 𐎱𐎾𐎿𐎡
    Hi guys,
    I think I found a reasonable interpretation. The line I presented had كم, but another version I read in an urdu book had گم.

    I realized that both کام and گام share some meanings.
    They both can come to mean "mouth" or دهان

    However, گام also means the reign of an animal. By way of extension, کام can metaphorically also mean the same thing. Hence, the meaning of the verse would then be
    "If you are a man of love, the reign of thyself hold. If not, then the path of safety choose."

    Holding one's reign is alluding towards the idea that the path is extremely bumpy and requires a grip on the beast being ridden upon.

    This interpretation fits nicely because it explains why the next line has ره in it.

    What do you guys think?

    I have searched as to this matter and finally found the book "The Bustan" translated by G.M.WICKNS (published by Iranian National Commission for Unesco). The translation of the mentioned part:

    " If a man of Love you'd be, make yourself of slight account,
    If otherwise, then take the road of safety! "

     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I have found a couple of more books which give the wording as "کم خویش" and provide some explanation of the couplet. The explanation given is in Persian.

    اگر عاشق پیشہ ای پس خویشتن داری و دعوی را بگذار کہ راہِ عشق سراپا جور و ملامت کشیدن است۔ اگر از اہل دانش ای راہِ عافیت کہ طریقِ عقل است اختیار کن۔
    کم خویش گرفتن ای خود را معدوم شمردن ای خودرا کمتر و نیست بدان۔

    Please note that ای in the second line is an Arabic word meaning, "that is".

    This supports what @Mnemon has said in his posts. The word is کم meaning less and is not a contraction for کام. I would like to know whether there is an izaafah after کم or not? I believe there is n't.
     

    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    Or read it as: agar marde eŝqi kame xiŝ gir
    where of course kam/کم stands for کام so کام خویش گیر / satisfy your own desires.
    If you are a man of love [then] satisfy your own desires.
    kam: few; deficient, scarce, less; abandonment, destitution;….

    kam giriftan (guftan), To abandon, give up, consider as lost;-

    If you are a man of love, then consider your self as lost.
    And if you are not, then take the path of comfort.


    - کم گرفتن چیزی ; او را نبوده شمردن . او را کالعدم فرض کردن . (یادداشت به خط مرحوم دهخدا) :
    دی بد پدرم صدر خداوند وزیر
    و امروز من و پدر ذلیلیم و اسیر
    من بنده جوانم و جوانی کم گیر
    یارب تو ببخشای براین عاجز پیر.
    شمس الدین علی بن محمودبن المظفر (یادداشت ایضاً).

    با عقیق لب او لعل بدخشان کم گیر
    با گل عارض او لاله ٔ نعمان کم گیر
    سخن سرکشی سروسهی بیش مگوی
    قد یارم نگر و سرو خرامان کم گیر.
    بدر جاجرمی (یادداشت ایضاً).
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    kam: few; deficient, scarce, less; abandonment, destitution;….

    kam giriftan (guftan), To abandon, give up, consider as lost;-

    If you are a man of love, then consider your self as lost.
    And if you are not, then take the path of comfort.

    I also looked at kam as few/less but kam has to be kame to make the meter right but even then it doesn't make sense, nor does your version, I am afraid to me at least.
    If you read it as : agar marde eŝqi kam xiŝ gir
    where kam here means kamtar and with خویش گیری meaning to be withdrawn/unsociable
    If you are a man of love, [then] be less withdrawn.
    Since joining this forum I have often thought, also mentioned in some posts, that there are two quite different Persians on the forum and I only understand one of them.
     

    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    I also looked at kam as few/less but kam has to be kame to make the meter right but even then it doesn't make sense, nor does your version, I am afraid to me at least.
    My version was following yours and is precisely:
    agar mard-e 3eŝqī kam-e-xiŝ gir.

    That's why I quoted your post with this reading.

    I chose it because it scans correctly and only then my translation makes sense. Was I wrong to assume that (کم گرفتن چیزی ; او را نبوده شمردن . او را کالعدم فرض کردن.(یادداشت به خط مرحوم دهخدا is an idiom requiring izâfé ? Doesn't کم گرفتن چیزی read: kam gereftan-e čizi ?

    I didn't copy the whole text of the relevant entry because I thought only the meaning, not the syntax was a stumbling block, but just look here:

    و رجوع به کم ِ چیزی گرفتن ذیل ترکیبهای کم شود. ... va roju3 be kam-e-čizē gereftan zail-e-tarkibhây-e-"kam" šavad.
    - (کم گرفتن کسی را: ترک کردن. واگذاشتن. نادیده انگاشتن:- کم او گیر (به اضافه ). (فرهنگ فارسی معین
    kam gereftan kasi râ: tark kardan, vâgożâštan, nâdidé angâštan – kam-e-u gir (be ezâfé) (farhang-e-farsi Moin).
    Since joining this forum I have often thought, also mentioned in some posts, that there are two quite different Persians on the forum and I only understand one of them.
    I'm not pretending any expertise in Persian so I normally enjoy the threads at the receiving end۔
    Since this idiom is explained in dictionaries I saw no reason for overseeing something extant rather than change letters. In my opinion the metre, syntax and meaning agree with the reading I postulate.

    kam gereftan-e xēš -> imp. kam-e xēš gīr

    both kam and xēš are substantivized.

    So when an idiom is there, the dictionaries list it and the meaning is clear, I thought I'd better share it because I found the discussion had been off-track. Instead of everybody proposing non-existent expressions or words, resorting to over-interpretation or assuming an instance of poetic licence that nobody heard of in order to find a way round, why not look it up when one does not understand something.

    Is is this idiom used in contemporary language, if at all? It surely doesn't take the ezâfé, و گر نه you had told us so. I can understand some word meanings and expressions in non-contemporary Persian or the usages of non-natives can be confusing, there must be at least some difference between Sa'dii and Modern Iranian Persian.

    PS. It might be well not the best of translations :)
     
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    Mnemon

    Senior Member
    Persian - Pārsi - 𐎱𐎾𐎿𐎡
    Hello @Qureshpor ,
    I would like to know whether there is an izaafah after کم or not? I believe there is n't.
    We can approach the couplet from two perspective in order to answer the question that whether the izaafah is necessary or not. If you analyze the couplet in terms of meaning, I agree with you on that. It makes more sense to me to ignore izaafah when I want to interpret or translate it. But when it comes to meter, I prefer to read it with izaafah. I think meter is a horse of different color. I personally have come across a lot of instances in which I had to read the verse in a way that meter allowed me to do so, even if that particular way of reading would have changed the meaning of the verse. And here I think the word "کم" should be accompanied with izaafah, as several of our friends mentioned before me.

    Hope it helps!
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    .....I didn't copy the whole text of the relevant entry because I thought only the meaning, not the syntax was a stumbling block, but just look here:

    و رجوع به کم ِ چیزی گرفتن ذیل ترکیبهای کم شود. ... va roju3 be kam-e-čizē gereftan zail-e-tarkibhây-e-"kam" šavad.
    - (کم گرفتن کسی را: ترک کردن. واگذاشتن. نادیده انگاشتن:- کم او گیر (به اضافه ). (فرهنگ فارسی معین

    kam gereftan kasi râ: tark kardan, vâgożâštan, nâdidé angâštan – kam-e-u gir (be ezâfé) (farhang-e-farsi Moin).....

    kam gereftan-e xēš -> imp. kam-e xēš gīr....
    Thank you marrish SaaHib. I think with this evidence we can safely assume that this "kam" is not the shortened form of "kaam".

    Hello @Qureshpor ,


    We can approach the couplet from two perspective in order to answer the question that whether the izaafah is necessary or not. If you analyze the couplet in terms of meaning, I agree with you on that. It makes more sense to me to ignore izaafah when I want to interpret or translate it. But when it comes to meter, I prefer to read it with izaafah. I think meter is a horse of different color. I personally have come across a lot of instances in which I had to read the verse in a way that meter allowed me to do so, even if that particular way of reading would have changed the meaning of the verse. And here I think the word "کم" should be accompanied with izaafah, as several of our friends mentioned before me.Hope it helps!
    Thank you @ Mnemon. Much appreciated for this explanation.
     
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    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    1. The correct reading:
    We know that the only scansion possible is this way:​

    agar mard-e 3eŝqī kam-e-xēŝ gir
    vagar nah rah-e-3aafiyat pēš gir

    (The metre is فعولن فعولن فعولن فَعَل: -== -== -== -= where - is a 1-letter syllable and = a syllable with two letters).

    a-gar=mar=de- 3eš== ka-==š- =r- /
    va-gar=nah= ra-==fe-yat= =š- =r- .​

    2. The meaning
    My take and the Persian commentary for illustration.
    اگر مرد عشقی​
    If you are a man of love (Love)
    اگر عاشق پیشہ ای
    کم ِ خویش گیر
    then consider your self as lost (=abandon it, renounce it)​
    پس خویشتن داری و دعوی را بگذار (کہ راہِ عشق سراپا جور و ملامت کشیدن است)۔۔
    و گر نه​
    But if you are not one (of love), then take up the path of comfort
    اگر از اہل دانش ای راہِ عافیت کہ طریقِ عقل است اختیار کن۔
    Could you validate these points?

    If you're to follow the path of love then (know you'll have to) abandon your "I" (or loose your Self).
    But if it isn't the case (=you are not a man of passion), then better take to the path of success OR stability OR salvation (depending how one understands rah-e-3âfiyat).
     
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    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    agar mard-e 3eŝqī kam-e-xēŝ gir
    vagar nah rah-e-3aafiyat pēš gir
    Some points:

    1 - I am sure 3aafiyat at Sa'di's time meant blessing/righteous as it does in modern Persian and Arabic then & now, and this matters.
    2 - kam-e-xēŝ gir - I can not see how this could possibly mean: consider your self as lost. kam-e can only mean 'less of', it just makes no sense. خود/کسی ‏را ‏کم ‏گرفتن means 'To underestimate/undersell yourself/someone' so where does 'lost' come from? You also need to question the ezâfé on کم (kam-e), what it is doing there, in your interpretation?

    The second verse says 'if not then take the path of blessing/righteousness' and not comfort, since taking the first verse's option i.e. path of enjoyment/merry making can lead to moral wrong doing and physical harm.

    I am not by any means saying 'it's my way or the highway' but other interpretations have to make sense semantically and need to consider the whole poetry and not just these verses and in Persian.
     
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    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    2 - kam-e-xēŝ gir - I can not see how this could possibly mean: consider your self as lost. kam-e can only mean 'less of', it just makes no sense. خود/کسی ‏را ‏کم ‏گرفتن means 'To underestimate/undersell yourself/someone' so where does 'lost' come from?
    Thank you for correcting me on this, for it seems I made an unfortunate choice of the English translation "consider as lost" from here:
    1) کم (p. 1046) کم kam, Few, little; deficient, defective, mutilated, wanting, diminished, scarce, less (hence frequently imparting a negative sense); worse; poor, wretched; base; abandonment; deficiency, destitution; excellent, precious, glorious, honoured; the waist, side; [kam āmadan (būdan, shudan), To fail, become deficient, be lessened, to run short (m.c.);--kam zadan, To show weakness, to be wanting in self-respect, not to assert oneself; to slight, to consider of no account, to revile; to speak evil; to desert;--kam kardan, To diminish; to withhold, defraud;--kam giriftan (guftan), To abandon, give up, consider as lost;--kam mānda ast, Little is wanting; almost (m.c.);--kam u besh (ziyād),More or less; all, everything;--kam u kāst, Loss, deficiency; defect and diminution;--zaḥmati āqā-rā kam kunīm, Let us not trouble his honour any more (m.c.);]
    I don't know, perhaps he mixed up his definitions with کم زدن? kam zadan, To show weakness, to be wanting in self-respect, not to assert oneself; to slight, to consider of no account, to revile.

    Your understanding follows Hayyim's definition:

    کم گرفتن Transitive verb To slight, to consider of no account. (Hayyim)​
    and here too:
    کم گرفتن to slight, to think nothing of (farsidic.com)​

    I thought "to consider of no account" and "to consider lost" were just different wordings.

    But wait... could you please translate the following in English?
    - کم گرفتن چیزی ; او را نبوده شمردن . او را کالعدم فرض کردن . (یادداشت به خط مرحوم دهخدا) :۔

    You also need to question the ezâfé on کم (kam-e), what it is doing there, in your interpretation?
    I'm trying my best to analyse the language and not to interpret the poetry. I already said there is Dehkhoda who attests and explains that ezâfé forms part of the idiom kam-e-chizē gereftan.
    Here more from Dehkhoda, in Persian, where it clarifies the questions you raise:

    کم ِ چیزی گرفتن ؛ ناشده و نابود انگاشتن بدان که لفظ کم در مقام معدوم و نفی مطلق استعمال کنند. (غیاث) (آنندراج). یا کم ِ کسی گرفتن ، آن را به شمار نیاوردن . پنداشتن که او نیست . (یادداشت به خط مرحوم دهخدا)۔

    I am not by any means saying 'it's my way or the highway' but other interpretations have to make sense semantically and need to consider the whole poetry and not just these verses and in Persian.
    So then, Dehkhoda quotes our agar mard-e-3eshqii... as an example of kam-e (!) and provides two other couplets from the pen of Sa'adi with kam-e-xud and kam-e-xēš, so the syntax, semantics and meaning + context from the same poet allow a translation?

    سعدیا گر نتوانی که کم خودگیری
    سر خود گیر که صاحب نظری کار تو نیست .


    گله از فراق یاران و جفای روزگاران
    نه طریق تست سعدی کم خویش گیر رستی .
     
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    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    First of all well done for persisting :)

    But wait... could you please translate the following in English?
    - کم گرفتن چیزی ; او را نبوده شمردن . او را کالعدم فرض کردن . (یادداشت به خط مرحوم دهخدا) :۔
    To consider something less [than its real worth]
    To Count him as nothing (non-existant)
    To Consider/Imagine her as nothing (null) - had never heard کالعدم before


    So then, Dehkhoda quotes our agar mard-e-3eshqii... as an example of kam-e (!) and provides two other couplets from the pen of Sa'adi with kam-e-xud and kam-e-xēš, so the syntax, semantics and meaning + context from the same poet allow a translation?

    سعدیا گر نتوانی که کم خودگیری
    سر خود گیر که صاحب نظری کار تو نیست .


    گله از فراق یاران و جفای روزگاران
    نه طریق تست سعدی کم خویش گیر رستی .
    I understand kame xod gerftan to mean 'to see/identify one's own shortcomings' and I can see that fitting in the two examples above but I still can't see how that can fit in our verse, despite Dehkhoda's assertion.
    Reason:
    I am sure you agree کم خویش گیر can be considered as a positive attribute/virtue, as for ره عافیت پیش گیر there can't be any doubt it is positive, so why would Sa'di say اگر/if and و گر نه/otherwise, aren't those attributes both positive, no, therefore one must be negative.
     
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    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    If you are a man of love, then humility seize (then think of yourself less)
    Otherwise take the path of comfort and ease

    Edit: I have edited "cease" to "seize" which was a misspelling on my part for which I apologise.
     
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    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    This is really frustrating, does عافیت mean comfort and ease in Urdu, can anyone please confirm what it means in Arabic please? I am afraid the translation you offer is meaningless to me. I can now see why others don't chip in.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    @PersoLatin, please do not be frustrated. None of us is claiming to be a professor of Persian or Arabic at Cambridge or Oxford university. After all, you are a mother tongue speaker of the language (Persian). So, please come up with your translation. It does n't matter if anyone else agrees with or not.
     
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    Abu Talha

    Senior Member
    Urdu
    Lane has this definition for عافية
    عَافِيَةٌ a subst. from عَافَاهُ اللّٰهُ, q. v., (S, Msb,) and from الإِِعْفَآءُ [inf. n. of 4, q. v.], (TA,) signifying Health, or soundness, and safety, or security: (TK: ) [or, as it may be best rendered, health and safety, considered as proceeding from God; i. e.] God's defence of a man (S, K) from diseases and from trial: (K: ) or freedom from evil. (KL.) See also 1, former half. -A2- [Also fem. of عَافٍ (q. v.), and used as a pl.]
    But he also mentions this possible meaning in the associated verb عافى:
    and some say that it signifies one's forgiving, or pardoning, men, and their forgiving, or pardoning, him.
    So could ره عافیت پیش گیر mean to live a life of pardoning others and not being strict and exacting upon them?

    So the meaning is something like:
    If you are a man of passion then [the most you can do is suppress your passion and] make yourself insignificant
    Otherwise, [you can actually have a positive effect and] live a life of pardoning others.
     
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    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    Thank you Abu Talha.

    I may or may not agree with your translation but the significant difference between yours and others's since post#4, is, yours takes note of the construct IF..... THEN Opt1..... AND IF NOT....Opt2, in other suggestions Opt1 and Opt2 were not different, AND this has been the source of frustration, a fact of logic rather than of linguistics.

    Please read the whole thing here I have included two more couplets, to me is it obvious Saɛdi is not condemning the pursuit of Opt1 he is promoting it, he then gives reasons why one should pursue that rather than the easy option (Opt2).
    اگر مرد عشقی کم خویش گیر ----- و گر نه ره عافیت پیش گیر
    مترس از محبت که خاکت کند ----- که باقی شوی گر هلاکت کند
    نروید نبات از حبوب درست ----- مگر حال بر وی بگردد نخست
     
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    Abu Talha

    Senior Member
    Urdu
    Please read the whole thing here I have included two more couplets, to me is it obvious Saɛdi is not condemning the pursuit of Opt1 he is promoting it, he then gives reasons why one should pursue that rather than the easy option (Opt2).
    اگر مرد عشقی کم خویش گیر ----- و گر نه ره عافیت پیش گیر
    مترس از محبت که خاکت کند ----- که باقی شوی گر هلاکت کند
    نروید نبات از حبوب درست ----- مگر حال بر وی بگردد نخست
    I see what you mean. And I now see why the interpretation of عافيت is so crucial. So in an about-face I'll try changing the translation :)

    If you are a man of passion then make yourself insignificant [to reap the benefits of debasing yourself for love that will be explained in the next verse]
    Otherwise, take the path of seeking security from punishment/illness/trials [because there's not much else you can do/are good for].

    I suppose the opposite relationship is to be interpreted thus:
    برای عشق کم خویش گیر : a life full of difficulties and trials (خاکت کند, هلاکت کند, etc) but with much benefit
    عافيت : a life of security from trials, but without the benefit of باقی شوی etc

    As you say, it's hard making sense of the IF-ELSE while keeping the IF-THEN relationships tenable.

    Sorry if I'm intruding here, I'm mostly learning :).
     
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    eskandar

    Moderator
    English (US)
    The authority on this question would be Gholam-Hosayn Yusofi, who produced the definitive critical addition of and commentary on Sa'di's Bustan. (It's the authoritative text used in Persian literature PhD programs in Iran and elsewhere). His notes gloss the words in question as follows:
    Gholam-Hosayn Yusofi said:
    کمِ خویش گرفتن: کمِ خویش گرفتن یعنی خود را نادیده انگاشتن و به چیزی نشمردن.
    عافیت: سلامت، تندرستی.
    (Yusofi, Bustān, Tehran: Anjoman-e ostādān-e zabān va adabiyāt-e fārsi, 1359 AH. Page 337).

    1 - I am sure 3aafiyat at Sa'di's time meant blessing/righteous as it does in modern Persian and Arabic then & now, and this matters.
    You are mistaken. It has nothing to do with blessing or righteousness, not in Sa'di's time, nor in today's Persian, nor in Arabic. In addition to Yusofi above you can refer to Hayyim, Steingass, Dehkhoda, etc.، and for Arabic the Arabic Lexicon; none mention anything about blessing or righteousness.

    The translations/explanations offered by Mnemon and Qureshpor upthread (#13, 14, 15) are totally correct.
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    It has nothing to do with blessing or righteousness, not in Sa'di's time, nor in today's Persian, nor in Arabic
    I lost my way when it comes to the primary meaning of عافیت, I give you that.

    The translations/explanations offered by Mnemon and Qureshpor upthread (#13, 14, 15) are totally correct
    I honestly can’t work out what the two esteemed members’ translations were, so I offer my own translation again which may not be easy to see, and with no embellishments:

    اگر مرد عشقی کم خویش گیر
    و گر نه ره عافیت پیش گیر
    If you are a man of desires, take/seize your desires,
    Otherwise take the path of righteousness

    خود/خویش کم گرفتن is a commonly used term is Persian & its meaning is almost universally understood, at least in Iran, and I can not see how it ever fits in the verse above.

    Experts are right, right up to the time they are proved wrong. Please also look at fdb’s translation in post #4.

    Also to assume Sa’di meant kam/little but had to use kam-e to keep the meter right, underestimate him despite the fact I personally don’t revere poets.
     
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    eskandar

    Moderator
    English (US)
    Otherwise take the path of righteousness
    عافیت does not mean righteousness. Refer to the numerous dictionary citations I provided in my previous post.

    خود/خویش کم گرفتن is a commonly used term is Persian & its meaning is almost universally understood, at least in Iran, and I can not see how it ever fits in the verse above.
    I recommend that you read Sa'di's Bustan (which is the source of these lines) and his Golestan. If you familiarize yourself with the moral philosophy and code of conduct (adab) Sa'di advocates in his works, you'll be able to understand the line.

    Experts are right, right up to the time they are proved wrong. Please also look at fdb’s translation in post #4.
    Experts can absolutely be proven wrong, but you haven't proven anything, you've just made some baseless assertions. Fdb is also mistaken in his reading of this line.

    Also to assume Sa’di meant kam/little but had to use kam-e to keep the meter right, underestimate him despite the fact I personally don’t revere poets.
    I don't know what you're trying to say here. kam-e X gereftan is idiomatic, as indicated by citations from several dictionaries earlier in this thread. It is your interpretation that Sa'di meant kaam but changed it to kam to fit the meter; I don't share that interpretation, nor do any of the published commentaries on this work.
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    عافیت does not mean righteousness. Refer to the numerous dictionary citations I provided in my previous post.
    In this thread you can see other people's own interpretation of many of the words and some are quite flowery, ok عافیت means 'health' but in the context I 'interpret' it as righteousness but heath will also work.

    It is your interpretation that Sa'di meant kaam but changed it to kam to fit the meter; I don't share that interpretation, nor do any of the published commentaries on this work.
    This is the most important aspect to get right as the rest is straight forward and if you don't get that right the whole piece becomes incomprehensible and nonsensical.
     
    اگر مرد عشقی کم خویش گیر
    اگر مرد عشقی زبان را در کام فرو مبر! خامش ننشین!سخن ناگفته مگذار
    جلو بیا و حرفت را بگو! در غیر این صورت عافیت پیشه خود کن و خطر مکن
    !
    مترس از محبت که خاکت کند
    که باقی شوی گر هلاکت کند

    از اینکه محبت تو را نابود کند، زمین زند، شکست خورده شوی، نترس! که اگر چنین اتفاقی نیز بی افتاد جاودان می شوی
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    اگر مرد عشقی زبان را در کام فرو مبر! خامش ننشین!سخن ناگفته مگذار
    جلو بیا و حرفت را بگو!
    I can see و گر نه i.e. the alternative/otherwise is correctly interpreted but how exactly does کم خویش گیر translate to or can be interpreted as:
    زبان را در کام فرو مبر
    خامش ننشین
    سخن ناگفته مگذار
    جلو بیا و حرفت را بگو

    Are you saying کم خویش گیر here means 'reduce/lower your self constraint' or جلوی خودت را نگیر ?
     
    how exactly does کم خویش گیر
    I think this phrasal verb is Saadi made combination. may be today we normally use خودبازداشتن.
    If you refer to the poem as you mentioned, there is another clause (Otherwise) و گرنه, in front of first clause and say ....choose other way.

    If you look at the poem, it is based on two clauses
    اگر مرد عشقی کم خویش گیر
    و گر نه ره عافیت پیش گیر

    مترس از محبت که خاکت کند
    که باقی شوی گر هلاکت کند

    نروید نبات از حبوب درست
    مگر حال بر وی بگردد نخست

    تو را با حق آن آشنایی دهد
    که از دست خویشت رهایی دهد

    که تا با خودی در خودت راه نیست
    وز این نکته جز بی خود آگاه نیست

    نه مطرب که آواز پای ستور
    سماع است اگر عشق داری و شور
    .
    .
    Other samples
    حیلت رها کن عاشقا دیوانه شو دیوانه شو
    .
    .
    گر مرد رهی میان خون باید رفت
    .
    .
    عشق جمال جانان دریای آتشین است
    گر عاشقی بسوزی زیرا که راه این است
     
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