Michael's Reviews > The Ruba'iyat of Omar Khayyam

The Ruba'iyat of Omar Khayyam by Omar Khayyám
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's review
Feb 13, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: poetry, favourites
Read 12 times. Last read February 14, 2011 to February 22, 2011.

Having loved Edward FitzGerald's free translation of these verses for many years, I wanted to read a more literal translation, which I got with this edition.

Initially, I wasn't taken: the verses were stark and plain for the most part, and there was no real connection between one quatrain and the next. But I persevered and as the memory of FitzGerald receded somewhat, I was able to enjoy the poems on their own terms. The humour and beauty of the "originals" (as close as a non-Persian speaker can get to the originals, anyway) shone through and won me over.

It was fun, too, to recognise some old friends in new clothes.

The translators' fascinating introduction and appendices were worth the price of the book by themselves, enhancing enjoyment of the verses by giving some context.

I guess I still prefer FitzGerald's translation because it's the one I've grown up with, but I will definitely revisit this edition, too.
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Quotes Michael Liked

Omar Khayyám
“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”
Omar Khayyám, The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

Omar Khayyám
“Drink wine. This is life eternal. This is all that youth will give you. It is the season for wine, roses and drunken friends. Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”
Omar Khayyám, رباعيات خيام

Omar Khayyám
“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 forever dies.”
Omar Khayyám, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Omar Khayyám
“I sometimes think that never blows so red
The Rose as where some buried Caesar bled;
That every Hyacinth the Garden wears
Dropt in its Lap from some once lovely Head.”
Omar Khayyám, Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

Omar Khayyám
“Were it not Folly, Spider-like to spin
The Thread of present Life away to win-
What? for ourselves, who know not if we shall
Breathe out the very Breath we now breathe in!”
Omar Khayyám, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Omar Khayyám
“The Wine of Life keeps oozing drop by drop,
The Leaves of Life keep falling one by one.”
Omar Khayyám, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam


Reading Progress

Started Reading (Hardcover Edition)
January 1, 1984 – Finished Reading (Hardcover Edition)
December 1, 1999 – Started Reading (Other Paperback Edition)
December 1, 1999 – Finished Reading (Other Paperback Edition)
July 26, 2010 – Shelved (Hardcover Edition)
July 26, 2010 – Shelved as: poetry (Hardcover Edition)
July 26, 2010 – Shelved as: illustrated (Hardcover Edition)
January 22, 2011 – Shelved as: favourites (Hardcover Edition)
February 4, 2011 – Started Reading (Hardcover Edition)
February 4, 2011 – Shelved (Hardcover Edition)
February 4, 2011 – Shelved as: poetry (Hardcover Edition)
February 4, 2011 – Shelved as: illustrated (Hardcover Edition)
February 4, 2011 – Shelved as: favourites (Hardcover Edition)
February 13, 2011 – Shelved
February 13, 2011 – Shelved as: poetry
February 14, 2011 – Started Reading
February 14, 2011 –
page 94
100.0% (Hardcover Edition)
February 14, 2011 – Finished Reading (Hardcover Edition)
February 16, 2011 –
page 30
25.86%
February 19, 2011 –
page 76
65.52%
February 22, 2011 – Shelved (Other Paperback Edition)
February 22, 2011 – Shelved as: poetry (Other Paperback Edition)
February 22, 2011 – Shelved as: favourites (Other Paperback Edition)
February 22, 2011 –
page 116
100.0%
February 22, 2011 – Shelved as: favourites
February 22, 2011 – Finished Reading
December 4, 2011 – Shelved (Hardcover Edition)
December 4, 2011 – Shelved as: poetry (Hardcover Edition)
December 4, 2011 – Shelved as: illustrated (Hardcover Edition)
December 4, 2011 – Shelved as: favourites (Hardcover Edition)
December 4, 2011 –
page 36
45.0% (Hardcover Edition)
December 18, 2011 –
page 55
68.75% (Hardcover Edition)
Started Reading (Hardcover Edition)
December 19, 2011 –
page 80
100.0% (Hardcover Edition)
December 19, 2011 – Finished Reading (Hardcover Edition)
November 20, 2012 – Shelved (Hardcover Edition)
November 20, 2012 – Shelved as: favourites (Hardcover Edition)
November 20, 2012 – Shelved as: poetry (Hardcover Edition)
November 20, 2012 – Shelved as: illustrated (Hardcover Edition)
November 20, 2012 – Shelved (Hardcover Edition)
November 20, 2012 – Shelved as: poetry (Hardcover Edition)
November 20, 2012 – Shelved as: illustrated (Hardcover Edition)
November 20, 2012 – Shelved as: favourites (Hardcover Edition)
November 22, 2012 – Started Reading (Hardcover Edition)
November 22, 2012 –
page 7
11.11% (Hardcover Edition)
November 23, 2012 –
page 25
39.68% (Hardcover Edition)
November 23, 2012 –
page 32
50.79% (Hardcover Edition)
November 24, 2012 –
page 46
73.02% (Hardcover Edition)
November 24, 2012 –
page 63
100.0% (Hardcover Edition)
November 24, 2012 –
page 63
100.0% (Hardcover Edition)
November 24, 2012 – Finished Reading (Hardcover Edition)
November 25, 2012 – Shelved (Hardcover Edition)
November 25, 2012 – Shelved as: poetry (Hardcover Edition)
November 25, 2012 – Shelved as: illustrated (Hardcover Edition)
November 25, 2012 – Shelved as: favourites (Hardcover Edition)
January 15, 2013 – Shelved (Hardcover Edition)
January 15, 2013 – Shelved as: poetry (Hardcover Edition)
January 15, 2013 – Shelved as: illustrated (Hardcover Edition)
January 15, 2013 – Shelved as: favourites (Hardcover Edition)
April 2, 2014 – Started Reading (Hardcover Edition)
April 3, 2014 – Finished Reading (Hardcover Edition)
July 12, 2014 – Started Reading (Hardcover Edition)
July 20, 2014 – Finished Reading (Hardcover Edition)
March 28, 2015 – Started Reading (Hardcover Edition)
March 28, 2015 – Finished Reading (Hardcover Edition)
June 14, 2015 – Shelved (Hardcover Edition)
June 14, 2015 – Shelved as: poetry (Hardcover Edition)
June 14, 2015 – Shelved as: illustrated (Hardcover Edition)
June 14, 2015 – Shelved as: favourites (Hardcover Edition)
June 23, 2015 – Shelved (Hardcover Edition)
June 23, 2015 – Shelved as: poetry (Hardcover Edition)
June 23, 2015 – Shelved as: favourites (Hardcover Edition)
June 23, 2015 – Shelved as: illustrated (Hardcover Edition)
September 26, 2015 – Started Reading (Hardcover Edition)
September 26, 2015 –
page 7
3.13% (Hardcover Edition)
September 26, 2015 –
page 53
23.66% (Hardcover Edition)
September 27, 2015 –
page 78
34.82% (Hardcover Edition)
September 27, 2015 –
page 151
67.41% (Hardcover Edition)
September 27, 2015 –
page 224
100.0% (Hardcover Edition)
September 27, 2015 – Finished Reading (Hardcover Edition)
February 18, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read (Hardcover Edition)
October 25, 2016 – Shelved (Hardcover Edition)
October 25, 2016 – Shelved as: poetry (Hardcover Edition)
October 25, 2016 – Shelved as: illustrated (Hardcover Edition)
October 25, 2016 – Shelved as: favourites (Hardcover Edition)
October 26, 2016 – Started Reading (Hardcover Edition)
October 26, 2016 –
page 21
16.54% (Hardcover Edition)
October 26, 2016 –
page 127
100.0% (Hardcover Edition)
October 26, 2016 – Finished Reading (Hardcover Edition)
January 19, 2017 – Started Reading (Hardcover Edition)
January 19, 2017 –
page 5
10.42% (Hardcover Edition)
January 19, 2017 –
page 48
100.0% (Hardcover Edition)
January 19, 2017 – Finished Reading (Hardcover Edition)
August 3, 2017 – Shelved (Hardcover Edition)
August 3, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read (Hardcover Edition)
August 3, 2017 – Shelved as: poetry (Hardcover Edition)
August 3, 2017 – Shelved as: illustrated (Hardcover Edition)
November 10, 2017 – Shelved (Other Paperback Edition)
November 10, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read (Other Paperback Edition)
November 10, 2017 – Shelved as: poetry (Other Paperback Edition)

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