'A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread - and
Thou ...'When Edward Fitzgerald first published his translation of the
poetry of Omar Khayyám in 1859 it had little impact on the literary world.
But a chance find in a bookshop by a friend of the Pre-Raphaelites led to
it being taken up by William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones, and from then
on its popularity grew. Since then, it has become one of the most popular
poems. In turn, it has influenced writers such as Matthew Arnold and Thomas
Hardy, not to mention many musicians and film-makers in the twentieth and
twenty-first centuries.Omar Khayyám (1048-1131) was a Persian poet and
philosopher who lived at the court of Malik Shah. He was also an astronomer
and a mathematician. A manuscript of some of his rubáiyát (four-line
verses) survives in the Bodleian Library and a copy of this manuscript is
thought to have inspired Fitzgerald to begin the translation.Fitzgerald's
mystical and sensual version of Omar Khayyám's quatrains is freely
translated and restructured to follow the course of a day. The epigrammatic
stanzas, infused with a melancholy yet consoling philosophy that urges
readers to seize the day and 'make the most of what we yet may spend', have
proved to be enduringly intriguing and popular. Through brilliant imagery
they celebrate the sensuous pleasures of life - wine, food, love - while
also mourning the painful truth of its brevity.This decorative edition
features gorgeous colour illustrations with an oriental theme by René Bull,
first published in 1913, which provide a perfect counterpoint to the lines
of this extraordinarily influential poem.

Omar Khayyam—The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

€37.95Price
  • 9781851244171