Omar Khayyam (130) On Forgiveness and Falling off the Wagon

I singlehandedly keep
this bar afloat.
My heart has bled
with repentance
a couple thousand times.
But if I don’t go on sinning,
what would divine mercy do?
He can’t bestow forgiveness
unless I keep falling
off the wagon.

Translated by Juan Cole
from Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyat, [pdf] Whinfield 130

5 Responses

  1. My favorite poem is by Nancy Woods

    My help is in the mountain
    where I take myself to heal
    the earthy wounds
    that people give to me.

    I find a rock with sun on it,
    and a stream where the water runs gentle,
    and the trees which one by one
    give me company.

    So must I stay for a long time,
    until I have grown from a rock,
    and the stream is running through me,
    and I cannot tell myself form one tall tree.

    Then I know that nothing touches me,
    nor makes me run away.
    My help is in the mountain
    that I take away from me.

  2. i do believe he’s impishly suggesting by sinning, he’s doing god a favor.

    wait a minute. “falling off the wagon” is of persian origin?

    did omar khayyam coin the phrase himself? if so, this phrase is something like 934 years old! or could it be this phrase is even older than he and predates even him? these poems suggest this period of time was more libertine than i expected!

  3. Oh, do I like this. What would God do with godself without sinners in need of forgiveness? Khayyam is such a rogue, but a thinking rogue, and he often makes me smile.

  4. The most true depiction is that of the puppet Petrushka in the ballet by Stravinsky. Every enactment that puppet performs is under the command of the puppet master. This model was the foundation of non-violence philosophy, originally understood by Rimsky-Korsakov the teacher of Stravinsky, later communicated to Leo Tolstoy and Gandhi.
    Qol-Kol-me-end-Allah == Everything is from God.

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