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Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

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Overview

As Byatt observes in her new intro. to this volume, FitzGeralds 19th-century lyrical translation of Omar Khayyams Rubaiyat forever changed the landscape of English poetry. FitzGeralds own verse — delicate & piercing, with a mixture of hedonism & melancholy — adapted itself well to what he perceived to be Khayyams original intent: to revel in the pleasures of the moment, forsake the folly of attempting to control ones life, & disavow religious succor outright. In FitzGeralds hands the Persian poets ...
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Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (Barnes & Noble Digital Library)

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Overview

As Byatt observes in her new intro. to this volume, FitzGeralds 19th-century lyrical translation of Omar Khayyams Rubaiyat forever changed the landscape of English poetry. FitzGeralds own verse — delicate & piercing, with a mixture of hedonism & melancholy — adapted itself well to what he perceived to be Khayyams original intent: to revel in the pleasures of the moment, forsake the folly of attempting to control ones life, & disavow religious succor outright. In FitzGeralds hands the Persian poets brief, evocative verses — some 800 years old at the time — became a cohesive whole. Illustrated by Edmund Dulac.

Omar Khayyam (1048-1122) was a Persian mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who was not known as a poet in his lifetime. These verses lay in obscurity until 1859, when FitzGerald published a free adapation of this Persian poetry. As a result, The Rubaiyat became one of the best-known and most often quoted English classics.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781603121316
  • Publisher: Aegypan
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Pages: 120
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.28 (d)

Meet the Author

Omar Khayyám was a Persian polymath, mathematician, philosopher, astronomer, physician, and poet. He also wrote treatises on mechanics, geography, and music. He has also become established as one of the major mathematicians and astronomers of the medieval period. Recognized as the author of the most important treatise on algebra before modern times as reflected in his Treatise on Demonstration of Problems of Algebra giving a geometric method for solving cubic equations by intersecting a hyperbola with a circle. He also contributed to the calendar reform and may have proposed a heliocentric theory well before Copernicus. His significance as a philosopher and teacher, and his few remaining philosophical works, have not received the same attention as his scientific and poetic writings. Zamakhshari referred to him as "the philosopher of the world". Many sources have also testified that he taught for decades the philosophy of Ibn Sina in Nishapur where Khayyám lived most of his life, died, and was buried and where his mausoleum remains today a masterpiece of Iranian architecture visited by many people every year. Outside Iran and Persian speaking countries, Khayyám has had impact on literature and societies through translation and works of scholars. The greatest such impact was in English-speaking countries; the English scholar Thomas Hyde (1636-1703) was the first non-Persian to study him. However the most influential of all was Edward FitzGerald (1809-83) who made Khayyám the most famous poet of the East in the West through his celebrated translation and adaptations of Khayyám's rather small number of quatrains (rubaiyaas) in Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám.
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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
The Ruba'iyat and Its Author 1
Selections from the Ruba'iyat 39
1 Of Spring and Flowers 47
2 Of Love and Wine 55
3 Fiery Sparks 79
4 Cynical and Satirical Utterances 99
5 Mystery of Creation 111
6 Transitoriness of Life 133
7 Aphorisms and Apothegms 167
8 Discontent 185
9 Mystic Passages 205
10 Contemplation and Supplication 225
Annotations 235
Bibliography 259
Index of English Quatrains 265
General Index 273
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 15 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 17 of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Poetry for the Soul

    The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam is among the few masterpieces that has been translated into most languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Hindi, Arabic, and Urdu.<BR/><BR/>The most famous translation of the Rubaiyat from Farsi into English was undertaken in 1859 by Edward J. Fitzgerald. It appears that in many of his translations, he has combined a few of the Rubaiyat to compose one, and sometimes it is difficult to trace and correspond the original to the translated version. However, he has tried his utmost to adhere to the spirit of the original poetry.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2007

    A reviewer

    I cannot fathom how this ancient classic hasn't been rated before now. The simplistic way that the 'AABA' poetry pattern was used to tell a story is an easy yet ingenius way to appeal to children and adults alike. Paradise Lost may be too difficult for some to understand, but this (also a story told in poem form) is relatively 'reader friendly' using poems, it tells tales and it is most interesting. I have the 1947 edition of this and every once in a while I pick it up. Even for a child who can't read, the lifelike pictures are enough to inspire interest. Omar, son of Abraham, certainly had something when he wrote this book and Edward Fitzgerald did as well when he brought it to English readers. Parents should now bring this book to their children if only to enlighten them and to keep its contents alive.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2014

    Interesting Philosophy

    I found it easier to understand one verse at a time and then put things together as I read for the "el grande mosaic".

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  • Posted December 6, 2009

    The Rubaiyat is for Recovery People to see their fate..

    The Rubaiyat in itself is a beautiful story. The way that Fitzgerald illustrates this interpretation, can be of the utmost importance to a person in recovery. An alocholic sees the love affair with the booze, and can vivdly see how the moving hand having writ cannot erase a line.......means wasted life. Excellent Excellent, I use illustrations in recovery groups and sessions. Cant get any better than that....they work....

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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