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Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam

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3.97  ·  Rating details ·  312 ratings  ·  38 reviews
In 1859, Edward FitzGerald translated into English the short, epigrammatic poems (or "rubáiyát") of medieval Persian poet Omar Khayyám. If not a true translation--his Omar seems to have read Shakespeare and the King James Bible--the poem nevertheless conveyed some of the most beautiful and haunting images in English poetry, and some of the sharpest-edged. By the end of the ...more
Paperback, Oxford World's Classics, 240 pages
Published 2009 by Oxford University Press (first published 1859)
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Carsie Of course I did! "The Rubi-ki-yat of Omar Khay-ya-I-am appalled!" said by the mayor's wife was my first introduction to the poem and the direct reason…moreOf course I did! "The Rubi-ki-yat of Omar Khay-ya-I-am appalled!" said by the mayor's wife was my first introduction to the poem and the direct reason I sat down and read the copy I found in my grandmother's library this week--all these years after I first fell in love with the Music Man. (less)
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3.97  · 
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Anurati
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How do you write the review of a book whose every word you wish to etch into your cold steel heart?
Frank Lovell (Jr.)
Thanks to Simon Albright for reminding me that I have read this many times over the years and I rank it WAY high on all-time favorite poetry list; here's one of the verses from it that I have committed to memory:

75:
What! Out of senseless Nothing to provoke
A conscious Something to resent the yoke
Of unpermitted Pleasure, under pain
Of Everlasting Penalties, if broke !


Sad, seeing Iran today (not its people, but its theocratic government) and recalling way WAY back when Persia was (arguably) the c
...more
ns510
#readharder2017 Task 23: Read a collection of poetry in translation on a theme other than love
Tam_ the_ med_bookie
Uplifting.
It's a good read.
It made me aware of my existence.
Ah, the glorious past!
So many references to the great men of the past.
This one will wake your wandering, lazy mind and let you go for something that you really want.
Because it just did for me!

It will just fire you up!
Great collection.
Benja
Sep 23, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ah, Love! could thou and I with Fate conspire
To grasp the sorry Scheme of Things entire.
Would not we shatter it to bits - and then
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart's Desire!


From what I gather, The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám is a loose translation of a selection of poems written by the 12th century Persian scholar Omar Khayyám as adapted by 19th century enthusiast Edward FitzGerald. According to FitzGerald, his own interpretration of the poems was "very unliteral" and even went on to rearrange certai
...more
Fidan Isbarova
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was excessively enjoyable reading the rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. Five more stars must be given for the translation: it seems to have been originally written in English. Though I haven't read it in original version (hence I am not sure about punctual transferring), I became amazed by the translation of figurative language.
Suzannah
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, poetry
OMAR: so hear me out

OMAR: it's like the ad for Aviation gin, see

OMAR: but make it PHILOSOPHY
Yasmina
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
The English translation is much better and much more eloquent than the Arabic one
******************************
I must abjure the Balm of Life, I must,
Scared by some After-reckoning taken on trust,
Or lured with Hope of some Diviner Drink,
To fill the Cup--when crumbled into Dust!

Of threats of Hell and Hopes of Paradise!
One thing at least is certain--This Life flies;
One thing is certain and the rest is Lies;
The Flower that once has blown forever dies.

Heaven but the Vision of fulfilled Desire,
And He
...more
Zebardast Zebardast

Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight:
And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught
The Sultan's Turret in a Noose of Light.


Dreaming when Dawn's Left Hand was in the Sky
I heard a Voice within the Tavern cry,
"Awake, my Little ones, and fill the Cup
Before Life's Liquor in its Cup be dry."

And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
The Tavern shouted—"Open then the Door.
You know how little while we have to stay,
And, once departed, may retur
...more
Claire
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: college
lovely lovely lovely!
Casey Dorsey
There are parts to the Rubaiyat that make it a 1 star read but then there are some absolute gems of excerpts that made me fall in love with the work. Its definitely something you need to read to have an opinion about. The age and history of the poem should add credibility that its not senseless drivel.
Bob Cantrell
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This about my third or fourth time to read the Rubaiyat. My first time I was In High School. My second time was several later in college. Since then I can't remember when I read it probably in high school, but this time it was as a teacher to my students. I just know it is an impressive collection of verse worth reading again and again.
Sneh Pradhan
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like the taste of wine on parched lips .... So exquisite .....Like the rarity of a salve for the wounded heart ... like the flowing stream of water through a desert .... like the touch of the rose petal to the skin .... it soothes ... it soothes ..... it blooms ....
Natasha Hacker
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My second favorite book of poems. Fantastic.
PowdyrdWyg
Omar does love the grape. Enjoyable but not the tour de force I had expected.
Alex Sarll
No idea why I didn't get around to this sooner; it's in that same section of old-fashioned, gently classic poetry I've mostly read at some point, and usually enjoyed – though it did also remind me to reread Elegy in a Country Churchyard and dear heavens, how did I never notice before how much shorter that poem could profitably have been? Equally, I would probably have been happier here if this lost the section with the potter, and the line of cooing struck me as painfully bathetic even if it's m ...more
Steve R
An interesting, very brief, collection of approximately one hundred quatrains - stanzas of four lines each, originally written by Omar Khayyam (c. 1100 A.D.) and translated (or, more accurately and as he himself stated) rendered by Edward FitzGerald in the late 1850s. Supposedly FitzGerald directly translated some of the 400-odd quatrains in the original while combining ideas from several different stanzas into one and totally coming up with his own in others. (Thus, the use of the phrase 'rende ...more
Alok
3.5 stars

"Oh, threats of Hell and Hopes of Paradise!
One thing at least is certain--This Life flies;
One thing is certain and the rest is Lies;
The Flower that once has blown for ever dies. "


There are a total of 101 rubaiyats. Rubaiyat are quatrains, verses of 4 lines. There are standalone rubaiyat as well as continuation of earlier verses.

There are musings on life, death, heaven, hell, love, existence, wine, Gods, Kings and reputation.

There are some really beautiful and thoughtful verses but ma
...more
Elizabeth
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-owned
My favourite of these lyrical and fulsome verses was number 99
"Ah Love! could you and I with Him conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits - and then
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart's Desire!"
Just my life right now.
And I was transfixed by the beautiful Persian drawings and watercolours in the illustrations. Perfect accompaniment to the quatrains.
Anomander Rake
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant stuff. I'd say anther word or two about the Moslems, but I guess FitzGerald gets the credit for this one. I have no idea how faithful of a translation this is, but as far as poetry goes, this is top-notch.
Rainey
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I am really out of practice at reading classic poetry.
Sumdima Rai
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enthralling poems, pure conversations of heart and soul and communion with god.
Toffeeapple
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adore this translation.
Jim
Apr 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Always worth re-reading.
Yaru Lin
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To be astronomer, mathematician, mythical poet:
"a Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse -- and Thou Beside me singing in the Wilderness"
Lily Wolf
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful poem that is, and always will be, resonant with anyone who reads it.
Beth Casey
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: before-2013
A favorite of my father - he often quoted the Rubaiyat. A beautiful book.
Jeremi Doucet
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
A fresh and revitalizing take on the futility of Life and the beauty of our evanescent existence.
Mostafa Rahbar
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everyone should read this book.
Sriram Radhakrishnan
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Takes you on a different journey! It is truly a masterpiece! Read it to your heart's content!
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Goodreads Librari...: several mergings 7 148 May 27, 2012 11:42AM  
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Arabic:عمر الخيام Persian:عمر خیام
Kurdish: عومەر خەییام


Omar Khayyám was a Persian polymath, mathematician, philosopher, astronomer, physician, and poet. He wrote treatises on mechanics, geography, and music. 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
...more