chahre pah jaise za;xm hai naa;xun kaa har ;xaraash
ab diidanii hu))ii hai;N mirii dast-kaariyaa;N

1) on the face, the way every scratch of the nails is a wound--
2) now they have become worth seeing, my handicrafts



dast-kaarii : 'Manufacture, handicraft; art, trade; operation (in surgery); dexterity'. (Platts p.516)

S. R. Faruqi:

To construe scratches on the face as 'handicraft' is a miracle. Here too is the same thing [as in {297,1}] where as an idiom dast-kaarii means 'handiwork, craft'; here he has used it in its dictionary meaning ('work of the hands') and without neglecting its idiomatic meaning has created the mood of a 'reversed metaphor' [isti((aarah-e ma((kuus].

Then, to call the face full of scratches an accomplishment of his handicraft is an utterly bold/venturesome theme. There's not the smallest suspicion of self-pity, and he's presented a grievous scene. The speaker feels pride in his madness, and tranquility about his destructive talent: that 'what I'm doing, I'm doing well'.

There's still another aspect of the meaning. In [the dictionary] bahaar-e ((ajam , one meaning of dast-kaar is 'a skilful Ustad'; and in Persian the word means 'adorning; to carefully and attentively bring some work to a conclusion'. It's clear that all these meanings too are suitable for the present verse.

Now the word diidanii has become even more meaningful: that the craftsmanship I exerted in adorning my face is worth seeing. Consider:


Between chahre and diidanii there's the pleasure of a zila.



The imagery isn't exactly appealing, but it doesn't really rise (fall?) to the level of what I would call true grotesquerie. No doubt that's because the real heart of the verse is the excellently multivalent use of dast-kaariyaa;N . Compare the similar effects (esthetic claims made for bloody wounds) in