Omar Khayyam (129) “No one ever returned”

We travelled far and wide
over desert wastes,
and journeyed 
toward the horizon.
We never met anyone
coming from other direction.
When once they set out
on that path,
no one ever returned.

Translated by Juan Cole
from Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyat, [pdf] Whinfield 129

4 Responses

  1. Well done. And a very fitting post for Nakba Day. Thank you.

  2. Just wanted to express my appreciation for your translations of Omar Khayyam’s poems. I didn’t realize his poetry was so broad. A lot of them resonate with me, even though we’re separated by nearly a millennium and I don’t think it’s just because I’m a poet, amateur astronomer and math major.

    Are you translating them more-or-less literally?

    • One reason I’m translating the Rubaiyat as prose poems is to be able to stay relatively close to the original, which is most often direct and colloquial. But there is no such thing as a literal translation.

Comments are closed.