What does this calligraphy say?
May 25, 2010 8:25 PM   Subscribe

What does this piece of Arabic-script (Persian?) calligraphy say?

I found it on the New York Times site ages ago (probably through Google Image Search), where it was on a general 'Islam' site. There was no caption to the image. I've run it through Tineye and found a blog post with the image, where its filename is "callig-from-iran".

I'm a student of Persian, but I'm rubbish at reading calligraphy. I can make out "جان" and "جهان" I think, but other than that I'm unable to recognize words or correctly place the dots with the letterforms.

If someone could offer the text of the image in plain text, as well as a translation, I would appreciate it.
posted by Gordafarin to Writing & Language (3 answers total)
shad aan jaan-e-jahaan, daaman kushaan hooaan(?) rahmaan nuroon(?) (I think)

I'm afraid I can read the script but don't understand the vocabulary. Definitely Persian or similar (Pushto, Darri, etc), not Arabic.

Will try for a better translation a bit later.
posted by bardophile at 8:54 PM on May 25, 2010

Best answer: No wait, I messed up on the dots underneath.

shad aan, jaan jahaan daaman kushaan choo az chaman puroon.

شد آن جان جهان دامن کشان چو از چمن پرون

That's my best stab.

jaan-e-jahaan is 'life of the world,' a common endearment.
Chaman is garden or meadow, a common metaphor for the homeland.
Daaman is 'skirt' (sort of, it's the edge of the long shirt, really)

Doesn't strike me as religious at all, really. Although if we get a better translation, it might end up being a line of Sufi poetry. Definitely sounds like a poetic line.

I speak Urdu, not Persian, so there's a lot of common vocabulary...
posted by bardophile at 9:07 PM on May 25, 2010 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you! Plugging your answer into Google led me to this citation from Dehkhoda:
شد آن جان جهان دامنکشان چون از چمن بيرون
تهي شد جان مرغان چمن گويي ز قالبها .
posted by Gordafarin at 9:41 PM on May 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

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