Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam


Here are a few verses of one my favorite poem many years ago – Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (the Edward FitzGerald’s Translation).

For those who may wonder who is he –  Omar Khayyam is a famous Persian Poet (1048–1131) who wrote this beautiful poem, of course.

Well, where is Persia today in the convoluted political boundaries of the Middle East? Well for one, it seems that Persia is not only the Iran we know today.

Today’s countries that include the ancient land of Persia is not only Iran in fact the Persian empire ruled central Asia including: Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, parts of Pakistan, India and Iraq, Northern Saudi Arabia-Lebanon-Syria-Jordan-Israel-Palestine. They even ruled African parts such as he whole of ancient Egypt and even Libya. Persia was also some of the countries in Europe such as Turkey-Bulgaria-Albania. Those are the countries which was the country of Ancient Persia. (source: http://wiki.answers.com).

With the current problems in the Middle East very visible in the TV and internet, I remembered this poem with fondness (especially remembering all during those times in my youth when yours truly is fond of consuming a lot of “agua de pataranta” with my friends [ tanslation: wine].

This poem was penned way, way back when the internal combustion engine was not yet invented, and therefore oil was not yet discovered, and as important as it is nowadays – when virtually every nation on earth is fighting for control over it.

There are a total of 75 quatrains to this beautiful poem (and some later additions). Here are the three I randomly selected – because it seems nice!

Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

(Edward FitzGerald’s Translation)

7

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.

27

Myself when young did eagerly frequent

Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument

About it and about: but evermore

Came out by the same Door as in I went.

28

With them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow,

And with my own hand labour’d it to grow:

And this was all the Harvest that I reap’d—

“I came like Water, and like Wind I go.”

For a more complete poem just go to http://www.library.cornell.edu/colldev/mideast/okhym.htm, or http://www.omar-khayyam.org/.

Cheers!

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