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Omar Khayyam (Warrior-Poet) posted 24 Aug 2006, 12:08 by Sokar, Auditor

Is anybody else here familiar with Omar Khayyam except for Warrior-Poet since his signature has a verse of his..? I was thinking after reading the Ruba'iyyat that he was just an ordinary poet, not belonging in his time with verses about life..pretty much like Hafiz... After reading Khayyam's philosophical works, I started questioning the Ruba'iyyat, since in those works he comes out more religious, in fact praising God beyond praise itself.. So this is my question, since Khayyam is mostly known in Iran, he is defenately portrayed as one who would be an absolute follower of God.. But the Ruba'iyyat is in total contrast to this (in my opinion, though I have also read some works where the Ruba'iyyat is believed to be written in this riddled manner, yet still being a highly religous work).. What would you say..? For those who are not familiar..the Ruba'iyyat can be found online (just google).. And I would absolutely recommend it for those with even slight interest in poetry and philosophy... not sure about the philosophical treatise... view post

posted 27 Aug 2006, 00:08 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

Khayyam uses riddles in his work so much it is often hard to say precisely what he is trying to say. I tend to believe he was a bit of a nihilist. Whether or not he believed in any divine force im not to say, despite the fact that he made a pilgramage to Mecca to satisfy religious higher ups of his faithfulness. I really could go on and on about my thoughts on his philosophy and unique poetry but I do not have the time as of now. For those who are not familiar with Omar Khayyam the web is an excellent source of information for quick study wikipedia is useful. [url:1j3dh28c][/url:1j3dh28c] view post

posted 28 Aug 2006, 11:08 by Primal, Peralogue

I checked out the link and read the sample verse. He does sound pretty nihilisitc view post

posted 03 Sep 2006, 00:09 by Krijates Iryssas, Candidate

first post here and it's abaout Khayyam... go figure. I'm far from a specialist but IIRC I think that Khayyam was a scientist, a mathematician as well as a poet. And religiously he belonged to the Sufi sect which tends to have a much more outlook on God. I absolutly adore Khayyam's poetry, even read in translation as I do. I think it's well worth checking out (if you can find it, there's editions with gorgeous Preraphaelite paintings...) view post

posted 05 Sep 2006, 15:09 by Sokar, Auditor

Khayyam was primarily a mathematician, though people mainly know him for his poetry now.. I take it that you have read the Ruba'iyyat..what is your view on this piece..? (I really wonder how the original work is, if the english translation is so brilliant) view post

posted 07 Sep 2006, 20:09 by Edge of Certainty, Subdidact

[quote="Sokar":58ijuk8a]Khayyam was primarily a mathematician, though people mainly know him for his poetry now.. I take it that you have read the Ruba'iyyat..what is your view on this piece..? (I really wonder how the original work is, if the english translation is so brilliant)[/quote:58ijuk8a] English to any middle eastern language is really difficult to do.....there are words and phrases in arabic that can't be translated into english and vice versa...i mean, that's usually the case with any language, but especially in arabic to english. I haven't read the Ruba'iyyat (which is supposed to mean "quatrain" but actually translates to "that of four") but i can imagine that whoever translated it did the best he/she could. view post

posted 08 Sep 2006, 01:09 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

I believe its been translated quite a bit by many different people. Each with small difference in translation. view post

posted 12 Sep 2006, 00:09 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

Since we are talking about Khayyam what would you say your favorite verse/verses are? Some of my personal favorites are: With them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow, And with my own hand labour'd it to grow: And this was all the Harvest that I reap'd - "I came like Water, and like Wind I go Into this Universe, and Why not knowing Nor Whence, like Water willy-nilly flowing; And out of it, as Wind along the Waste, I know not Whither, willy-nilly blowing What, without asking, hither hurried Whence? And, without asking, Whither hurried hence! Oh, many a Cup of this forbidden Wine Must drown the memory of that insolence 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 view post

posted 12 Sep 2006, 12:09 by Sokar, Auditor

Mine would be these: 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! Ah, my Belov'ed fill the Cup that clears To-day Past Regrets and Future Fears: To-morrow!--Why, To-morrow I may be Myself with Yesterday's Sev'n Thousand Years. 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! There was the Door to which I found no Key; There was the Veil through which I might not see: Some little talk awhile of Me and Thee There was--and then no more of Thee and Me. ... Then of the Thee in Me works behind The Veil, I lifted up my hands to find A Lamp amid the Darkness; and I heard, As from Without--"The Me Within Thee Blind!" ... I like this whole part, where he continues with "wine and lips" but that's enough for now.. view post

posted 16 Sep 2006, 17:09 by Edge of Certainty, Subdidact

ok, i read a translation, supposedly by Edward FitzGerald, and i have to say, i'm quite confused.......if the Rubaiyat was translated from Farsi, why does it rhyme in English? It's quite possible that i've found a very unreliable source.......? but it says that this text was translated by Edward FitzGerald.......can someone explain? view post

posted 17 Sep 2006, 00:09 by Sokar, Auditor

I think you got the correct copy.. the reason it still rhymes is the great translating work done by Fritzgerald.. though I think his translation was later refined... Anyway, here is an internet link towards the full text online, just in case: the page has loads of other classical works, though it it doesn't really work well anymore... view post

posted 29 Sep 2006, 16:09 by DrunkenAfficianado, Commoner

The Fitzgerald/Sullivan version of the Rubaiyat is problematic for several reasons, and amazing for several reasons. First, it was the original "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" because the majority of versus attributed to Khayyam are actually bastardized from Hafiz. It is the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald because the original artist was Edmund Sullivan, the author Edward Fitzgerald-- the combination of the two names gives us Edmund Fitzgerald, from whence Gordon Lightfoot penned his song in rememberance of the ship of the same name. And make no mistake, the book as a literal translation is a shipwrecked mismatch of three or more Sufi poets, none of which were Khayyam. Second, it is from the illustrations of the Sullivan version that Einstein got his famous quote that "God does not play dice with the Universe." Indeed, God plays chess with her as seen on plate XLIX with the quatrain: 'Tis all a chequer-board of Nightsand Days Where Destiny with Men for Pieces plays; Hither and thither moves, and mates, and slays, And one by one back in the Closet lays. Ironically, it seems somewhat inferred from Plate XIV that man plays dice with Death. To put forth a point to Sokor, Khayyam argues that one should "die one's own prayer rug with wine" which has been taken by several critics that Khayyam holds that devotion to the Divine transcends the mere outward prohibitions of religion, in this case the prohibition of wine by Islam, if wine would bring one closer to the Divine. Khayyam was an algebraicist and an astronomer. I would suggest to anyone that the works of Idries Shah be consulted first when forming an opinion on Khayyam, especialy his seminal work The Sufis, and then the classic actual translation by Robert Graves and Omar Ali Shah taken from a 15th century manuscript from a mosque under the protection of Jan Fishan Khan, the great uncle of the Shahs. To Edge of Certainty, the English translation was a deliberate shipwreck, a deliberate maiming of the originals, for many reasons, one of which was to see if anybody even noticed, another to simply make money on a book from a far away place in the British Empire. At the time, late 1880's, such was the vogue. But have no doubts, the text was corrupted, enough for Graves and Shah to retranslate an original copy from a mosque in order to do justice to it. Quattrains, what were left of the actual verses of Khayyam were also placed out of order in the "wreck." And almost every other translation other than the Graves/Shah is merely a new reading of the Fitzgerald, which accomplishes nothing but to reiterate a bad reading until the bad reading is taken as gospel. The Wreck is finally actually two books, the bad verse and the individual pictures that transcend the language they are supposedly illustrating. That is, a person can look at the pictures and find a completely different meaning, in some cases sublime, than what is presented in verse. And in some cases this was to get past Victorian censorship. Consider the Plate XVIII, there are roses growing from the skeletons heart because during the crusades, warriors had small pouches containing the rose seeds at their hearts to mark their unmarked graves if they should fall. Wheat grows from his belly because it was what he ate, and hallucenogenic mushrooms grow from his skull forming a halo, and now the careful observer is given the biological etomology of the halo given as an artistic indication of holiness in the world's great religions, especially Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism, and in the latter two mentioned the mushrooms are considered a holy sacrement. Again, any interested party should get The Sufis and the other works of Shah and Robert Graves, so the "riddles" mentioned in the post can be answered. The writer Coleman Barks gets his name from Plate/Verse LV. A poorly chosen name at that as any real Sufi will neither flout nor howl as his "conditioning" is his "key." Peace. Tamam Shud view post

posted 09 Oct 2006, 13:10 by Sokar, Auditor

Are you by any chance an iranian..? And how would you see Khayyam's Rubayyat? I mean to say, would you agree to it being a nihilist work, or a riddled religious one? view post


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