Talk:Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

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Where's Kismet?[edit]

in the list of cultural references, I do not see Kismet. The musical and movie both feature a character fashioned after Omar Khayyam (named Omar and referred to as "the Tentmaker") who quotes a few quatrains during the show. Seemed an odd thing to have missed in the list. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:04, 19 June 2017 (UTC)


Fitzgerald gave the Rubaiyat a distinct atheistic spin. Surely fatalistic rather than atheistic is meant. Fitzgerald wasn't any more of an atheistic than Omar himself. Wetman 08:49, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)

("Omar Khayyam" article's discussion of Rubiyat belongs on article accompanying this talk page)[edit]

--Turkish Legacy 23:04, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

The preceding sig line of User:Can Kırığı was separated from the then preceding text (Wetman's 08:49, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC) contrib and sig) by 2 endline characters (so that a blank line was rendered between them) but terminated by a single end-line character, in circumstances where MediaWiki rendered it as if it had been a space character. That sig thus came to precede, on the same line, the earlier unsigned 1-sentence text (which i've now tagged with {{unsigned}}), starting 20 months after that text's contribution. It seems reasonable to construe the sig as a belated claim by User:Can Kırığı to have contributed that sentence, and (implicitly) to have done so using IP address (talk · contribs · WHOIS); IMO it is farfetched to suggest that CK intended to represent that the date (which does reflect when their sig was added) also applied to the following text. The edit history verifies the time, date, and user account of that sig line, but offers no evidence that would support any claim of contributorship of the earlier text. Other evidence bearing on that might exist, but such evidence is normally pursued only when a false claim of separate authorship is suspected. Jerzyt 07:00, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

More logical to have discussion of poem here rather than in article on Omar Khayyam. Needs info on translations in other languages; history of Fitzgerald versions; other translations in English— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:35, 2 August 2004‎

Info on originals[edit]

  • There is no explicit information on the language of the original writings by Khayyam in the article.
[1] says it was Farsi.
  • It is not said whether the original texts have been preserved (i.e., not only translations).
From the text at [2] it follows that the texts have been preserved and some of them almost universally believed to be authentic and or his own original composition.

Would you check and incorporate this information? --Imz 23:32 & :58, 21 October 2005 (UTC) It seems that Imz answered their own questions without any additional signature, rather than being anonymously answered.

That notebook in the video game[edit]

I'm confused by the reference to saving a "notebook that includes German officials ...." !

Is it a very large notebook or are they very small officials? Presumably, this means "that includes notes by German officials" or "a notebook that proves that German officials" or something. --Christofurio 15:31, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

more detailed content[edit]

i think this article needs a lot more content about the rubiyat - themes (fate, wine, skepticism, etc). ill work on it when i get the chance, but if anyone is interested in this, lets get it done Mightier than the sword 01:10, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

...I agree. Right now this article should be entitled "Translations of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam." We need some information about the actual work. mglg(talk) 19:47, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
...The article also needs further editorial work. That many hands participated in its writing is painfully obvious. Also, there are absurd references in the "External links" section, e.g., a pointer to "The entire book in DNL E-Book format". As tThe article correctly indicates there may be as many as 2000more than 1000 quatrains in the Persian work ; in any case there are probably more than a thousand. This , while this "entire book" in ebook format simply points to the Fitzgerald rewrite of some of the verses. In fact, nearly all of the "External links" entries have to do with Fitzgerald's lovely and entirely inauthentic rewriting of the thing. Khayyam deserves morebetter than this.— Preceding unsigned comment added by kentfx (talkcontribs) (kentfx 12:32, :33, & :35, 21 April 2012 (UTC))

Yes. This article does a wonderful job of hiding what Khayyam actually wrote. Sadly, even this is a more useful link — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:28, 4 May 2017 (UTC)


This article would benefit from quotes from Chesterton's criticism in _Heretics_. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:14, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Need a reference to a new interpretation[edit]

"Wine of the Mystic" by Paramahansa Yogananda, is a 274 page, beautifully illustrated interpretation of the FitzGerald translation. Each english quatrain is accompanied with Persian text, a glossary of terms, a spiritual interpretation, and a practical interpretation. Winner of the 1994 Benjamin Franklin award in the field of Religion. Yogananda makes a strong argument for the mystical basis of Khayyam's Rubaiyat. (Note: As pointed out in the introduction, the Persian text and the English translation are not always in sync). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wrinklestiltskin (talkcontribs) 08:06, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

(Film evocation)[edit]

Rklho2000 (talk) 16:37, 12 October 2008 (UTC) New Influence:

The Rubaiyat was quoted in the 1951 Albert Lewin film "Pandora and the Flying Dutchman" which starred Ava Gardner and James Mason.Rklho2000 (talk) 16:37, 12 October 2008 (UTC)


According to the introduction, the original poem is in quatrains, hence the word ´Rubaiyat´, which is derived from the word for four. FitzGerald published his version in quatrains, but this is not necessarily the same as the original. I quote the first paragraph of Peter Avery´s introduction to a 1981 Penguin Classics paperback that I am reading:

"The ruba´i... is a two-lined stanza of Persian poetry, each line of which is divided into two hemistechs making up four altogether, hence the name ruba´i , an Arabic word meaning ´foursome´."

So the stanzas are two lines, not quatrains. This is from a book that is more than twenty years old, though - I´ll change it on the basis of what this book says, but if someone could point to more recent scholarship than that would be useful.Indy4ever (talk) 00:10, 24 February 2009 (UTC)


Should be more about the original Persian poems. Churchh (talk) 14:51, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

RMS Titanic's Rubaiyat[edit]

This article loosely implies that there was no Rubaiyat aboard RMS Titanic. This in incorrect - if my memory serves me correctly, the ship's manifest records that there was a leatherbound, precious and semi-precious stone encrusted copy aboard, bought shortly before at an auction house for around $400. It was lost in the sinking. CharlieRCD (talk) 15:41, 21 May 2009 (UTC)


"The nature of a translation very much depends on what interpretation one places on Khayyam's philosophy."

This sentence has to be re-phrased: The nature of the translation of Omar Khayyam's poem very much ... Pamour (talk) 13:21, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

   I haven't looked at whether a third choice has won out, but in any case don't think either version should stand without being challenged on this talk page, starting with the shared tacit assumption that failure to attribute philosophical positions to him forces invalid translation. Two other statements might be more defensible:
  1. That specific translators with differing understandings of his philosophical intent have translated in ways that conceal other defensible understandings (perhaps eliminated ambiguities that he may have intentionally created).
  2. That the consensus of qualified translators is that translation is impracticable without assumptions about what his philosophical intent was, and more legitimate when a translator assumes she has superior insight into his philosophy.
If the translations differ that radically, do we have some scholarly discussion of the divisions among schools of translation scholarship?
--Jerzyt 08:16, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

Lovecraft relevance?[edit]

The article refers to a couplet written by Lovecraft's fictional poet Abdul Alhazred, but it's not clear what the connection to the RoOK is. (The closest thing listed in the article might be Quatrain 75.) This should either be clarified, or the reference removed. --Jay (Histrion) (talkcontribs) 13:42, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

Diacritic marks in title[edit]

While the title might be properly written as The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, the title FitzGerald gave it lacked diacritic marks. The opening line gives the impression that this article is primarily about FitzGerald's translation. Either the title given should be written without diacritic marks or the open sentence should be rewritten.--Slowlikemolasses (talk) 23:31, 5 December 2012 (UTC)

Folio Society[edit]

I am unhappy with the Folio Society section of this article. The text makes clear this is not a new translation at all. Rather, it is simply a poorly-disguised advert for the book - oh, sorry, 'arguably...the best English translation of Omar Khayyám to date'.

I propose that the section be removed entirely as inappropriate. I thought I would post this suggestion before doing so. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:27, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

rab wilson's version[edit]

This article says Rab Wilson's version was published in 2004, but the article on Rab Wilson says it was published in 2010. Which is correct? (talk) 22:30, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

What is this article supposed to be about? The Rubaiyat, or the translations?[edit]

The main, first, dominant se Tion is not about The Ribaiyat at all, but about the relative merits of many translations and editions.

Imagine an article about any other work of literature which took the same approach.

Someone should decide whethe the translations are important enough to warrant their own article, but, in any case, an article supposedly about the work itself should be exactly that.

This is what happens with a free-for-all 'encyclopaedia' dominated by (mostly) unqualified, amateur 'editors'. Perhaps there is an editor who will prove this claim wrong by removing, or greatly reducing, the this-vs-that translation review which dominates the article to the detriment of the apparent subject of the title. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:40, 10 January 2015 (UTC)

The observer above certainly has a good point, so I am moving the Translations section lower in the article. BeenAroundAWhile (talk) 02:21, 28 October 2016 (UTC)

FitzGerald's book is extremely notable, and indeed introduced Khayyam not only to a Western audience, but even to Iran, where he had not been known as a poet, or certainly not as notable as a poet, before. It seems perfectly fair to dedicate this page to FitzGerald's translation, and to its very extensive history of reception. An encyclopedic treatment of Kayyam's poetry itself, the question of which verses are authentic, etc., can safely be placed under Omar Khayyam#Poetry, or if necessary a sub-page. The many free translations inspired by FitzGerald probably have next to no bearing on Khayyam directly, though, and if as long as they are not notable enough for their own entries, they probably should be listed under "Reception" on this page. --dab (𒁳) 08:42, 18 September 2017 (UTC)

Origins of the mystical interpretation[edit]

There are (unsourced) bits of info stated as fact in the last three paragraphs of the "Mystical Interpretations" section which seem a bit suspicious.

For example, I doubt that many experts would agree Hafiz advocated an "Epicurian view on life". The idea that his house was raided by clerics seems to be a pure legend. Actually, not much is known at all about Hafiz' life. Also, the whole spiritual symbolism of wine and romance was already well established for centuries by the time Hafiz came around (the intro to Arberry's Fifty Poems of Hafiz discusses these points).

The idea that the medieval Persian poets were in fact atheistic libertines whose words have later been completely twisted by crafty Sufis and Shi'ites is rather off-the-wall; quite evidently at least as far as Hafiz is concerned. Thus it would adequate if the article mentioned that this idea exists as a theory, propounded by so and so, not necessarily as fact. (talk) 17:29, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

The point is that Western Orientalism read Hafiz in this way. And FitzGerald explicitly calls "Khayyam"'s outlook Epicurean. The question on the interpretation of Hafiz remains open and ambiguous. The interpretation of Khayyam's poetry is even more uncertain, because it isn't known which verses are his to begin with. But Al-Qifti's testimony, written a century after Khayyam, that Khayyam's poetry attacked religion and that Khayyam had to fear for his life, so he went on a pilgrimage and later professed piety and avoided further provocation, is quite valuable and if nothing else shows that the question is not purely one of "Western" misreadings but was directly addressed in Muslim historiography in the 13th century. --dab (𒁳) 08:50, 18 September 2017 (UTC)

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The only connection which I could find between Fitzgerald and the noun transmogrification appears in this excerpt from the Biographical Preface of Michael Kearney. Google claims that it is also in letter from Fitzgerald to Cowell. Letter does not appear to be in either the Price edition of letters (on Project Gutenberg) or the more modern edition by Terhune.

Of " Omar Khayyám," even after the little book had won its way to general esteem, he used to say that the suggested addition of his name on the title would imply an assumption of importance which he considered that his " transmogrification " of the Persian poet did not possess.

Omar Khayyam; Michael Kearney (1888). Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám in English verse, Edward Fitzgerald. The text of the fourth edition, followed by that of the first; with notes showing the extent of his indebtedness to the Persian original; and a biographical preface. Translated by Edward FitzGerald, , 1809-1883,. New York and Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and company. p. 17.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link) CS1 maint: multiple names: translators list (link)

Perhaps the transmogrification sentence should be deleted from the article. In the interim I will add this citation. CommentsRdmoore6 (talk) 20:55, 1 January 2019 (UTC)

Thank you for your research. Based on this, the sentence should at the very least be rephrased, as it does not appropriately reflect the content of the source. The use of "transmogrification" is not central to the point being made, it appears to be little more than an quirky synonym for "adaptation" in this case. --dab (𒁳) 11:05, 9 January 2019 (UTC)

Proclaimed a Hidden Scripture by Paramhansa Yogananda[edit]

The great master of yoga and author of the classic Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramhansa Yogananda, after reading Edward FitzGerald's translation of the Rubaiyat, announced that a profound scriptural message was hidden in its text and imagery. For many years Yogananda's interpretations and explanation of the deep spiritual and yogic truths he said were referred to in Khayyam's poem were published in the magazine Yogananda founded (alternatively titled East West Magazine, Inner Culture Magazine, and Self-Realization Magazine). In 1994 Yogananda's writings on this subject were published by Crystal Clarity Publishers under the title The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam Explained by Paramhansa Yogananda. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:35, 21 March 2019 (UTC)