Persian: Gulistan of Sa'di

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by Benyameen, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. Ey morghe sahar, ishq za parwana bi-amuz,
    K'an sukhta raj v/a awaz niyamaad.

    Oh bird of the morning, learn the love of the moth;
    It is consumed and dies, uttering not a sound.

    From the Introduction of Sadi's Gulistan

    Question 1: Is the transliteration correct? The document was scanned years ago and contains some very obvious inaccuracies; I'm especially wondering about the "v/a" in the second line.

    Question 2: Would someone be willing to provide a more literal, word-for-word translation?


  2. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    ای مرغ سحر عشق ز پروانه بیاموز
    کان سوخته را جان شدو آواز نیامد

    ai murGh-i-saHar 3ishq zi parvaanah biyaamoz
    kaan soxtah raa jaan shud-o-aavaaz nayaamad

    Here is word for word translation.

    O, bird of dawn, love from a moth learn
    For that wretched 's life went and sound did n't come

    And a bit free style one.

    Learn about love from a moth, O you early morning bird
    That unfortunate gave up its life and did n't say a word

  3. Aryamp

    Aryamp Persimod


    Obviously that v/a part is wrong, this is the way I would transliterate it :

    ey morghe sahar eshgh ze parvâne biâmuz
    kân sukhte râ jân shod o avâz nayâmad

    The translation you've given is already quite literal! I could just go on and explain a little more word for word :
    morgh = bird , sahar = morning/dawn
    morghe sahar is a bird that sings in the morning

    eshgh = love , parvâne = butterfly (it's translated as moth because I guess moths are the insects that usually gather around lights at night)

    Eshgh ze parvâne biâmuz = learn 'love' from the butterfly. or learn (how to love) or learn the way of love

    sukhte = that which is burnt , jân shod = died, literal : life left him , âvâz = song, sound

    He was burnt and died and yet he didn't make a sound

    So that's a very literal translation, if you're interested to know the philosophy behind it I could explain that in old times just like today insects were attracted to sources of light at night and again just like today many of them would die because of the heat or just flapping around a lot. The only difference is that, in the old days it was probably a more spectacular scene because the insect would actually burn in flames by the candle. This attraction between insects and light and their eventual death for Sufis became an inspiration and a symbol of love.

    It's also said that there's a love between birds and flowers. Birds like canary are in love with flowers like rose and sing for them. There's another concept in Sufism that a true lover must give everything for the beloved one. To be unified with the beloved one, a lover must become nothing. Moreover on the quest for love and on the journey to discover the secrets of the world, the more one knows the less one reveals.

    So these concept are interwoven into this image of the comparison between Moth and Bird. The moth gives its life to join the beloved one (the flame) and dies quietly and that's the proof that it has been a true lover. Because a moth that comes back alive and tells of its journey to the flame, obviously has not really been there! So that's why the bird in the eye of the poet is just boasting a lot by making so much sound but in reality is not a true lover.
  4. Wow! Excellent!

    Qureshpor and Aryamp, thanks very much to you both for your kind assistance.

    It's a beautiful poem with a beautiful message.
  5. Are you familiar with Afghan poet Khalilullah Khalili's Assembly of Moths? Am I correct in assuming that he addresses the same sacrifice to the Beloved?
  6. darush Senior Member

    بُلبُل=مرغ سحر= Nightingale
  7. Thanks very much, darush!

    It's great to be able to be part of this forum.
  8. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Very good point, aaqaa-ye-darush. But I could n't rhyme "nightingale" with "word"!:)
  9. darush Senior Member

    You are welcome Benyameen:)
    It is said that nightingale loves the rose, sings for her all night and destroys it finally!
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013
  10. darush Senior Member

    Yes, bird is more suitable.
    @ your translation; as good as ever!
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013
  11. Thanks again to you all. It's been a real pleasure to have had this exchange. Mutashakiram!

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