The Rubaiyat: Quatrain XXXV


I think the Vessel, that with fugitive
Articulation answer'd, once did live,
And merry-make; and the cold Lip I kiss'd
How many Kisses might it take -- and give!

This is the thirty-fifth quatrain of the FitzGerald's Rubaiyat. Again a very very opaque quatrain. The Vessel (that earthen bowl of the previous quatrain), the one who replied with an obscure answer to the poet's questioning. The poet says I think that the vessel once did lived and used to partake in countless merry and frolic. I kissed its cold lip and pondered over the incoherent replies given to me. I wonder how many kisses (like these) will the Vessel give and take. I am curious how many hands will this Vessel pass through.

The Vessel, the earthen bowl of wine was once dust, but was also once live. In Abrahamic religions the belief that God created human from dust is predominant. And human turns to dust once dead. The Vessel might have been human once. In the circle of life and death, dust to dust will keep going on and in each life of these countless lives, I will always keep looking for answers beyond myself but the only answers I get are at best incomprehensible.

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