March 28, 2010

The Rubaiyat of Oman Khayyam

Ok, I cheat, what I have are not the originals, but when I first read a selection all those years ago in Grade 10 Literature (yeah, we're cool like that), I was hooked. I love how he can communicate so much in such short stanzas. In case you don't know what this collection of 'Rubaiyat' or quatrains were originally written by the a fore mentioned Oman Khayyam (pretty self explanatory title, eh?) until they were 'freely adapted' by Fitzgerald in 1875, when he was attributed authorship. The collection is largely about how life is short and how we should live it. I share a few of my favourites:

Oh, come with old Khayyam, and leave the Wise
To talk; one thing is certain, that Life flies;
One thing is certian, the the Rest is Lies;
The Flower that once has blown for ever dies.

Myself when young did eagerly frequent
Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument
About it and about: but evermore
Came out by the same Door as in I went.

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!

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