Ghazal 158, Verse 6


har buu al-havas ne ;husn-parastii shi((aar kii
ab aabruu-e shevah-e ahl-e na:zar ga))ii

1) every lecher has made a method/habit of the worship of beauty
2) now the honor of the profession/habit of the people of vision/sight has gone


buu al-havas : 'Desirous; whimsical, capricious, fickle; — a wavering, or fickle person; blockhead'. (Platts p.173)


shi((aar : 'Mark, signal, sign, countersign, password, parole; habit, custom, practice; method, manner'. (Platts p.728)


shevah : 'Business, trade, profession; manner, habit, custom, practice; amorous ways and looks'. (Platts p.741)


na:zar : 'Sight, vision, view; look, regard, glance; observation, inspection; supervision; —favourable regard, favour, countenance; —view, opinion, estimation; —intent, design; —regard, relation, reference'. (Platts p.1143)


That is, the worship of beauty was the practice of people of vision: they recognized the affinity of the elements and pursued sincere passion. When all sorts of people also began to practice the worship of beauty, then the practice of people of vision was left with no honor at all. (170)

== Nazm page 170

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, the habit of the lustful was not the worship of beauty. But now they too, without thought or understanding, have adopted this habit. The value of the sincere passion of people of vision has been vanishing. (226)

Bekhud Mohani:

By the 'worship of beauty' only poetry can be intended. Now every lecher has become a 'worshipper of beauty'-- now the honor of that noble art/craft can no longer remain.

[Or:] Now every illiterate, every fool, has begun to compose poetry, and the distinction that used to belong to this noble art/craft-- that it was reserved only for people of vision-- has been vanishing. (304)



Alas, this one leaves me at a loss. It's quite simple in appearance, and the commentators explain it sensibly. But surely there's something more going on? Some bit of wordplay that we're missing? Where's the punch, where's the sudden burst of pleasure, where's the complexity, where's the central focus of the verse? It doesn't seem to lose much if paraphrased into prose-- which is always a bad sign. I don't know why Faruqi marks it as a notably good verse.

The sequence of ab aab is of course an enjoyable sound effect.

Compare {115,6}, for an example of how much more can be done with the 'lecher'.

On the translation of kii as 'has made' and ga))ii as 'has gone', see {158,2}.

Note for meter fans: The Arabic phrase is actually pronounced, and scanned, bul-ha-vas, = - = .