Ghazal 45, Verse 2


bazm-e qada;h se ((aish tamannaa nah rakh kih rang
.said-e z daam jastah hai us daam-gaah kaa

1) don't harbor a longing for enjoyment from the gathering of the wineglass -- for color/mood
2) is a 'prey that has leaped from the net' of that trap/'net-place'


qada;h : 'A goblet, cup, glass, bowl'. (Platts p.788)


rang : 'Colour, colouring matter, pigment, paint, dye; colour, tint, hue, complexion; beauty, bloom; expression, countenance, appearance, aspect; fashion, style; character, nature; mood, mode, manner, method'. (Platts p.601)


jastan : 'To jump, leap, bound, spring forward; to fly (as sparks); to assail; to run away'. (Steingass p.363)


'Net-place' is a metaphor for the world. (41)

== Nazm page 41

Bekhud Dihlavi:

The meaning is that to long for enjoyment and pleasure from the gathering for wine-drinking is a kind of prey that cannot be kept in captivity. Enjoyment and pleasure have no stability in the world. In this verse the 'delicacy of thought' is that the color that comes to the face for a little while after wine-drinking, cannot remain after the intoxication has abated. (82)

Bekhud Mohani:

To call the wine party a 'net-place' is enjoyable from a verbal perspective too-- Mirza has called the wineglasses links in the net, and thus made the wine into a 'net-place'.... That is, Enjoyment itself considers the world a place of sorrow, and wants to run away from here. 'A prey that has leaped from the net' for the color/mood of wine is a consummate simile. (102)


One reason for bringing in the word 'color' is that it has a special affinity with enjoyment and a wine party. (167)


WINE: {49,1}

The colloquial Persian phrase .said-e z daam jastah , 'prey that has leaped from the net,' becomes a perfect metaphor for the relationship of the multivalent word rang to the wine-party. (Think of 'the one that got away'.) The commentators draw out some of the implications: the round mouths of the wine-glasses are like the round meshes of the hunting-net; the 'color' in the drinkers' faces (and spirits) all too quickly departs, like the escaped prey. In other such verses, the Hunter [.saiyaad] can also make an appearance.

The tormenting and tantalizing thing is that the prey was, however briefly, in the net. If only it hadn't made that wild, unexpected leap, and suddenly vanished! Could something have been done to prevent the escape? Can the prey ever be recaptured? The verse warns against hope. Once lost, the prey is beyond reach. Even if we go to another wine-party, and another, we'll always find that the rang (see the definition above) is fleeting. The subtle, intangible thing for which we actually long, is the very one we can't grasp and hold on to. (In English, we can speak of pleasures as 'fugitive'.)

This is a verse of mood; the phrase .said-e z daam jastah is surely at its heart. And to call the wine-party a trap or 'net-place', where snares and nets have been laid for the 'prey' of enjoyment, is another moody, almost equally evocative turn of phrase.

Compare {189,2}, in which the wine-party appears as a distraction from a worthier human pursuit-- which is the 'drawing in' not of wine, but of oneself.

Note for grammar fans: What exactly is going on with ((aish tamannaa ? Perhaps we should read tamannaa rakhnaa as something like chaahnaa , so that the grammar would be like that of ((aish chaahnaa . Alternatively, ((aish tamannaa could be a noun compound; on these see {129,6x}.