Sunday, March 15, 2015

Overheard . . . Theology Amongst the Pots


. . . Once more within the Potter's house alone
I stood, Surrounded by the Shapes of Clay.
Shapes of all Sorts and Sizes, great and small.
That stood along the floor and by the wall;
And some loquacious Vessels were; and some
Listen'd perhaps, but never talked at all.

Said one among them -- "Surely not in vain
My substance of the common Earth was ta'en
And to the Figure molded, to be broke,
Or trampled back to shapeless Earth again."


Then said a Second -- "Ne'er a peevish Boy
Would break the Bowl from which he drank in joy;
And He that with his hand the Vessel made
Will surely not in after Wrath destroy."

After a momentary silence spake
Some Vessel of a more ungainly Make;
"They sneer at me for leaning all awry:
What! did the hand then of the Potter shake?"


Whereat some one of the more loquacious Lot --
I think a Sufi pipkin -- waxing hot --
"All this of Pot and Potter -- Tell me then,
Who is the Potter, pray, and who the Pot?"

"Why," said another, "Some there are who tell
Of one who threatens he will toss to Hell
The luckless Pots he marr'd in making -- Pish!
He's a Good Fellow, and 'twill all be well."

from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam  by Edward Fitzgerald.  
My mother had a copy, left over from her college days in the Thirties. I devoured it in the Fifties when I was in high school, memorizing great swathes with which I annoyed people.
 I still find myself doing it now and then.

More about Fitzgerald and The Rubaiyat HERE.

m

10 comments:

Juliet Batten said...

My mother had that book, just a little pocket sized one, and I used to dip into it from time to time. What a surprise to find it quoted here! I'm looking in after a bit of a blogging holiday.

Ms. A said...

Well, I like the pots. The verse fries my brain.

jennyfreckles said...

Wonderful. Looks like you might have been buying pots too. Another Spring ritual.

Barbara Rogers said...

Only a Sufi would confuse potter and pot...and actually I'm happy to send the "luckless Pots he marr'd in making" to wherever they may recycled go. So sayeth this potter.

Jim Egerton said...

If only the last two lines were so! Such beautiful verses and from a hethern? How could that be?

Bernie said...

This is great, even felt like I was eavesdropping. Oh Vicki we are in the middle of a nor'easter and blizzard and you are thinking about planting. I am so looking forward to that time. xo

Pepper Cory said...

Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
The Winter Garment of Repentance fling :
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly - and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.

God bless Omar--his words will bubble up at the appropriate times. It's almost Spring here at the coast and we're having glorious sunshine.

Frances said...

Vicki, I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I have yet to read The Rubiayat. Surely, with this encouragement, I will mend this situation.

xo

Vicki Lane said...

Frances -- it may be one of those things that one should encounter in one's youth. I still love it but don't know how I'd feel about it reading it for the first time now.

Frances said...

Thank you, Vicki.

Even so, I'll give it a look. xo