Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Rubaiyat: 2nd Edition, Quatrain XLVII

This is Quatrain XLVII, one of the new quatrains FitzGerald introduced with the publication of the second edition.  It also appears in the Fifth Edition.


Second Edition:  Quatrain XLVII

And fear not lest Existence closing your
Account, should lose, or know the type no more;
    The Eternal Saki from that Bowl has pour'd
Millions of Bubbles like us, and will pour. 




Fifth Edition:  Quatrain XLVI

And fear not lest Existence closing your
Account, and mine, should know the like no more;
    The Eternal Saki from that Bowl has pour'd
Millions of Bubbles like us, and will pour. 


Lines 1, 3, and 4 are identical, with the only changes occurring in the second line.  The most significant effect is that the Poet/Narrator now includes himself along with the reader, perhaps to remove any suspicion the reader may have had that the Poet felt himself to be unique.

Overall, I would not call this a very cheerful quatrain for it argues that we all will die some day.   Moreover, it dispels those fond delusions that we may have had that we are special or unique in some way, for there are millions like us who have already appeared and millions more who will follow us.  And, being compared to a bubble strongly evokes the idea of the ephemeral nature of our being. Perhaps it's time for a cup of wine.

8 comments:

  1. madamevauquer,

    Coming right up!

    ReplyDelete
  2. All bubbles created in the likeness of the Eternal?....sounds similar to Genesis....but I could be wrong....BTW singularity is an illusion....And perhaps Existence is also an illusion, which is unsettling....or is it?

    ReplyDelete
  3. R.T.,

    I read it that the bubbles are us creatures:

    "The Eternal Saki from that Bowl has pour'd/
    Millions of Bubbles like us, and will pour."

    If Existence is an illusion, then who is it that is experiencing this illusion? And who is it that is asking this question?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Maybe I should revisit Plato. I think he answered those questions. Be well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. R.T.,

      I think Aristotle and St. Thomas answered those questions more satisfactorily.

      Delete
  5. It doesn't dispel any notions I have. We are all unique. I think the family unit proves that. There are people in our lives we care about more than we care about others. And I flatter myself that I am extremely important to my son and my husband not to mention other family members. And, as a Christian, I know I am a child of God.
    Perhaps it boggles our mind to think that so many billions of people can be intimately known by God but the Bible claims it to be so.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sharon,

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I'm sure there are many who would agree with you, and, in fact, I suspect many of us really feel we are somehow special in some way.

    ReplyDelete