The Ruba'iyat of Omar Khayyam

The Ruba'iyat of Omar Khayyam

by Omar Khayyam


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783337222543
Publisher: Bod Third Party Titles
Publication date: 05/02/2019
Pages: 374
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x 0.83(d)
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Omar Khayyam is famous as a poet and astronomer and one of the greatest mathematicians of the Middle Ages. He was born near Nishapur in north-east Persia and is thought to have died in approximately 1122.

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The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (Barnes & Noble Edition) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
jharlam More than 1 year ago
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.

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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
RhydTybyans on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This translation by Peter Avery and John Heath-Stubbs presents a work very different in tone from that presented by Edward Fitzgerald.The tone of this version is cool, wry, sardonic, self-restrained, self-possessed, and by necessity resigned, whereas for me the tone of the Fitzgerald version is wild, excessive, romantic, unrestrained and, for all the words to the contrary, rebellious.I admire and enjoy both versions, but nowadays I much prefer the Avery and Heath-Stubbs version.I remember, back in the day when I was at varsity and a student in the English III class, a very disparaging, offhand remark made about Fitzgerald's "Ruba'iyat" by a Professor during a lecture: she dismissed it contemptuously as being not worthy to be called poetry. Well, I'm happy to be able to report that her opinion had no effect on me :)
gbill on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Omar Khayyam wrote the poems that make up ¿The Ruba¿iyat¿ over the course of his life about a thousand years ago in what is now Iran (1048-1131). He was an astronomer and mathematician in addition to being a poet; his religious views are subject to debate but it¿s clear they were not orthodox. Some see him as a Sufi mystic, others as a humanist skeptic, regardless, his poetry is enjoyable and speaks to me across the centuries. The predominant theme is a recognition of the transience of life; Khayyam tells us to be happy and enjoy ourselves before we pass on, as those who came before us have. This is also a very beautiful edition which includes a large number of Persian paintings in color.Quotes:On happiness in the now:¿Go for pleasure, life only gives a moment,Its every atom from a Kaikobad¿s or a Jamshid¿s dust;The world¿s phenomena and life¿s essenceAre all a dream, a fancy, and a moment¿s deception.¿¿These few odd days of life have passedLike water down the brook, wind across the desert;There are two days I have never been plagued with regret for,Yesterday that has gone, tomorrow that will come.¿¿It is we who are the source of our own happiness, the mine of our own sorrow,The repository of justice and foundation of iniquity;We who are cast down and exalted, perfect and defective,At once the rusted mirror and Jamshid¿s all-seeing cup.¿On sleep:¿I was asleep, a wise man said to me`The rose of joy does not bloom for slumberers;Why are you asleep? Sleep is the image of death,Drink wine, below the ground you must sleep of necessity.¿¿On death:¿Though you may have lain with a mistress all your life,Tasted the sweets of the world all your life;Still the end of the affair will be your departure ¿ It was a dream that you dreamed all your life.¿On the passing of youth:¿When we were children we went to the Master for a time,For a time we were beguiled with our own mastery;Hear the end of the matter, what befell us; We came like water and we went like wind.¿On drinking wine:¿Oh heart you will not arrive at the solving of the riddle,You will not reach the goal the wise in their subtlety seek;Make do here with wine and the cup of bliss,For you may and you may not arrive at bliss hereafter.¿¿Drinking wine and consorting with good fellowsIs better than practicing the ascetic¿s hypocrisy;If the lover and drunkard are to be among the damnedThen no one will see the face of heaven.¿¿I drink no wine, but not because I¿m poor,Nor get drunk, though not through fear of scandal;I drank to lighten my heartBut now that you have settled in my heart, I drink no more.¿On meaninglessness:¿What have you to do with Being, friend,And empty opinions about the notion of mind and spirit?Joyfully live and let the world pass happily,The beginning of the matter was not arranged with you in mind.¿On the transience of life, wow I love this one:¿Every particle of dust on a patch of earthWas a sun-cheek or brow of the morning star;Shake the dust off your sleeve carefully ¿ That too was a delicate, fair face.¿ As well as this one: ¿The globe is the image of a ball compacted of our bones,The Oxus, a trickle of our distilled tears;Hell is a spark from our consuming torrents,Paradise, a moment from our space of reprieve.¿
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Easy read
DoeReid More than 1 year ago
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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JodiK More than 1 year ago
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....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago