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Omar Khayyam's "Rubaiyat"
Elio Sion points out that the verses I quoted from Fitzgerald were really from his "masterful and beautiful" translation of the "Rubaiyat" of Omar Khayyam. Yes and no. I don't know Persian so I cannot say if the translation is masterful. However, scholars say that much of the poetry, including these famous verses, attributed to Omar Khayyam is not by him.
The sentiments expressed, damning the gods, the saints and the scholars and taking refuge in that "drug" wine, must be anathema to the present Iranian theocracy. My guess is that the poem is banned from the school curriculum. Can anyone enlighten me? In any case, the translation is now more fanous than the original.
Ronald Hilton - 08/09/99