Omar Khayyam

02 Mar 2004 17:39

Medieval Persian mathematician, astronomer and poet. In the modern world, he's most famous in the last capacity, largely thanks to the 19th century English translation of his Rubiyyat ("Quatrains") by Fitzgerald. My grandfather, who is himself a Persian poet, tactfully describes that book as "a classic of English verse, inspired by Khayyam"; it apparently bears very little relation to the actual Rubiyyat. I hope to someday learn enough Persian to judge for myself. --- The only other English translation of Khayyam I've found is by Robert Graves (!), and is more than usually full of his Goddess-nonsense, so I don't trust that either.