Nathan's Reviews > Rubaiyat Of Omar Khayyam

Rubaiyat Of Omar Khayyam by Omar Khayyám
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's review
Jul 25, 2011

bookshelves: nathan-library, theme-classic

I loved these 75 quatrains of simply beautiful poetry from the 11th and 19th centuries.

This work basically has two authors: Khayyam (the Persian poet) and FitzGerald (the English translator/assembler). While Khayyam wrote many standalone quatrains, FitzGerald selected these verses to be woven into one coherent piece.

The Rubaiyat emphasizes living for now while we can, much in the "eat, drink, for tomorrow we die" vein. While Khayyam vacillates on the existence of afterlife, portions sound like the book of Ecclesiastes:

"Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend, / Before we too into the dust descend; / Dust into dust, and under dust, to lie, / Sans wine, sans song, sans singer and--sans end!" (XXIII)

"And that inverted bowl we call the sky, / Whereunder crawling coop't we live and die, / Lift not thy hands to it for help--for it / Rolls impotently on as thou or I." (LII)

I much enjoyed the poetry, though I was not a fan of the art in this edition. One side note: I stumbled upon this book by way of the mysterious Taman Shud case of 1948. Fascinating connection to the Rubaiyat.

Highly recommended for any poetry fan.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
July 25, 2011 – Shelved
March 24, 2016 – Shelved as: nathan-library
March 28, 2016 – Shelved as: theme-classic

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