Poem ...Our Fate : OMAR KHAYYAM by Tim Norman 17/4/10

Brief history of this fascinating man to follow…..31/03/10…..reworked transcript of BBC programme from memory but for verse

His verse is so clean and simple! Modern poets take note…nothing convoluted!

OMAR KHAYYAM…was a poet, an astronomer, philosopher, mathematician, a scolar, scientist in IRAN..an important cultural figure in medieval Persia. He was born in 1048 AD and his work essentially explained, the suffering and hopes of human beings.

In modern Iran, street poetry is part of modern culture and indeed his 4 line poetry is read at events and to audiences and to is bvery popular in the West.

Edward Fitzgerald in the 19th century translated Khayyam work on the understanding of the human soul, and man’s loneliness and the complexity of the inner soul. His book of verse is called the Ruyaiyat.

“The moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on”.

“Nor all thy Piety nor wit shall lure it back, to cancel half a line”

“Nor all thy tears wash out a word of it”

His and his colleagues had pioneering scientific ideas, developed forward from Ancient Greece, India and China. They took old knowledge to create and pursue the new.

Cubic equations and quadratic equations…something from school! problem solving was one of his things. He never quite fathomed the quadratic equatic…..

He saw poetry and mathematics as a similar. The patterns in language and poetry and the same in mathematics. Music was much behind his poetry.

Joy is the essence of life…reverberates through his work…..and to the human condition and human sensitivity…Life is short, We do not have long to live, it can be painful…Maximise your pleasures, “have some more wine”… Wine features a lot in his work!

Andrew Motion says his philosophical axions on Time passes, Love fades and Day turns into night"…is letter echoed in Biblical translations., Shakespeare’s work, Tennyson and Milton.
The Ruyaiyat was honoured by the likes of Thomas Hardy, TS Elliot and Arthur Conan Doyle.

Her Death And After

>> Thomas Hardy <<

Twas a death-bed summons, and forth I went
By the way of the Western Wall, so drear
On that winter night, and sought a gate—
The home, by Fate, Of one I had long held dear.

The ideas of fate….

Khayyam….“Make game of that,. which makes us much of thee, fate will defeat the individual”

There is a long story of how Fitzgerald found this book of verse written in Persian, how he translated it, could not sell it for love nor money until someone picked it up and remarked “my god this is good poetry” and before long the works had gone to the states, and its ideology almost is a print of the New America…and loved by Americans…..of course adored by Iranians today, whose governement does not agree with his works, but to the population and academics and artists is cultural heritage…

One stanza, quoted by an famous American poet….took hold of these words,

A book of verse under the bough,

A jug of wine, loaf of bread and thou

Beside me singing in the wilderness

Oh Wilderness were paradise…enow!…. others famous poems include…..

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Selected verses.

Whether at Naishapur or Babylon,
Whether the Cup with sweet or bitter run,
The Wine of Life keeps oozing drop by drop,
The Leaves of Life keep falling one by one.
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!
Some for the Glories of This World; and some
Sigh for the Prophet’s Paradise to come;
Ah, take the Cash, and let the Credit go,
Nor heed the rumble of the distant Drum!
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!
For I remember stopping by the way
To watch a Potter thumping his wet Clay;
And with it’s all-obliterated Tongue
It murmur’d- “Gently, Brother, gently, pray!”
For “Is” and “Is-Not” though with Rule and Line
And “Up-and-Down” by Logic I define,
Of all that one should care to fathom, I
Was never deep in anything but – Wine.
Omar Khayyam (1048-1122), translated by Edward Fitzgerald (1809-1883). Fifth Edition.

The original Ruyaibat is in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University.

Copies and reprint make it too the most illustrated book of poems in the world.

In the United States, the poetry gives credence to “the here and now”…“the material world”, society for which it has become…and what is fascinating is that an 11th century Persian scholar from a cosmopolitan medieval world, (but for the geo-political differences between US and Iran which clash today…between Islam and Christianity,) are in fact cultural manifestations of the same thinking today!!

“The flower that has blown forever dies.”

Today, the works confirm the problems faced by life. As an original thinker, he questioned the certainties in life, its challenges, and Khayyam refuses to accept we were put on this earth for a reason, and that we have to make our own reasons.

This idea of fate…your CHILDREN’s’s fate?

Poem ...Our Fate : OMAR KHAYYAM by Tim Norman 17/4/10

tim norman

Wimbledon, United Kingdom

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