Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

 

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The Rubaiyat

Depending on the sources of reference that one chooses, Omar Khayyam is believed to have composed somewhere between 200 and 600 Rubaiyat (quatrains). Some are known to be authentic and are attributed to him, while others seem to be combinations or corruption of his poetry, and whose origins are more dubious.

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam is among the few masterpieces that has been translated into most languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Hindi, Arabic, and Urdu.

The most famous translation of the Rubaiyat from Farsi into English was undertaken in 1859 by Edward J. Fitzgerald. It appears that in many of his translations, he has combined a few of the Rubaiyat to compose one, and sometimes it is difficult to trace and correspond the original to the translated version. However, he has tried his utmost to adhere to the spirit of the original poetry.

The Farsi collection presented in this web page is almost universally believed to be authentic and or his own original composition. At this time, it does not include all the Rubaiyat, though a significant proportion.

For the benefit of the non-Farsi speaking reader, I have included two translations. One is as a literal translation, with the aim of conveying the wording of the original poetry, leaving it to the reader to draw his/her own conclusions. And another is a "meaning" translation, with the intention of conveying the spirit of the poetry to the reader, (at least as understood by this author.)

Keywords:

On every page, a number of the Rubaiyat (quatrains) appear, which are clearly separated from each other.

For each quatrain, there is a Farsi (original Persian text),
Which generally appears on the right.
This is presented in pictorial format

Literal:

This is   a literal English translation (in quatrain form) with the intention of staying as close to the original text as possible.  Poetry by Shahriar Shahriari.

Meaning:

This is a free translation (again in poetic form, mainly quatrain, though not always so), with the objective of conveying the intended meaning.  Poetry by Shahriar Shahriari.

Fitzgerald:

This is the corresponding translation of the Rubaiyat by Edward J. Fitzgerald (1859).

German:

As well as a  German translation, poet unknown.

French:

In the near future, there will be a French translation,

 

We hope you enjoy the poetry of Omar Khayyam.

 

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This page was last updated on Thursday, April 22, 2010