Difference between revisions of "The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam"

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'''The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam''' is the collection of [[quatrain]]s—four-line stanzas—written by the [[Persia]]n astronomer [[Omar Khayyam]] (1048 – 1123). They are largely known to the English-speaking world in the translations written by Edward FitzGerald, first published, anonymously, in 1859.
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'''The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam''' is the collection of [[quatrain]]s—four-line stanzas written by [[Omar Khayyam]]. They are largely known to the English-speaking world through the translation written by Edward FitzGerald, first published anonymously, in 1859.
  
 
They are perhaps some of the most quoted poetry in the English language: of approximately a hundred stanzas, about forty of them are included ''in full'' in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.
 
They are perhaps some of the most quoted poetry in the English language: of approximately a hundred stanzas, about forty of them are included ''in full'' in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.
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Undoubtedly the best-known stanza is:
 
Undoubtedly the best-known stanza is:
  
&nbsp;&nbsp;A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,<br>
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:''A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
&nbsp;&nbsp;A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread&mdash;and Thou<br>
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:''A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread&mdash;and Thou
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Beside me singing in the Wilderness&mdash;<br>
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::''Beside me singing in the Wilderness&mdash;
&nbsp;&nbsp;Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!<br>
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:''Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!
  
Another famous poem, highlighting the futility of regret, is featured in the musical [[Kismet]]:
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Another famous verse, highlighting the futility of regret, is referred to in the musical [[Kismet]]:
  
&nbsp;&nbsp;The Moving Finger writes; and having writ,<br>
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:''The Moving Finger writes; and having writ,
&nbsp;&nbsp;Moves on; nor all your Piety nor Wit<br>
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:''Moves on; nor all your Piety nor Wit
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,<br>
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::''Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
&nbsp;&nbsp;Nor all your tears wash out a word of it.<br>
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:''Nor all your tears wash out a word of it.
  
 
FitzGerald's translation is not literal. FitzGerald believed he was being true to the spirit of the original.
 
FitzGerald's translation is not literal. FitzGerald believed he was being true to the spirit of the original.
  
[[Category:Poetry|Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam, The]]
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Khayyam alludes to his professional work as mathematician and astronomer in the quatrain:
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:''Ah, but my Computations, People say,
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:''Reduced the Year to better reckoning?&mdash;Nay
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::''<nowiki>'</nowiki>Twas only striking from the Calendar
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:''Unborn To-morrow, and dead Yesterday.
 +
 
 +
[[Category:Poems|Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, The]]
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[[Category:World Literature]]

Latest revision as of 17:06, 14 September 2018

The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam is the collection of quatrains—four-line stanzas written by Omar Khayyam. They are largely known to the English-speaking world through the translation written by Edward FitzGerald, first published anonymously, in 1859.

They are perhaps some of the most quoted poetry in the English language: of approximately a hundred stanzas, about forty of them are included in full in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.

Undoubtedly the best-known stanza is:

A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness—
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

Another famous verse, highlighting the futility of regret, is referred to in the musical Kismet:

The Moving Finger writes; and having writ,
Moves on; nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your tears wash out a word of it.

FitzGerald's translation is not literal. FitzGerald believed he was being true to the spirit of the original.

Khayyam alludes to his professional work as mathematician and astronomer in the quatrain:

Ah, but my Computations, People say,
Reduced the Year to better reckoning?—Nay
'Twas only striking from the Calendar
Unborn To-morrow, and dead Yesterday.