Omar Khayyam (145) “my bewilderment”

I was disturbed that
he brought me into being,
and nothing has grown 
through my life
like my bewilderment at it.
We’re forced to depart,
and don’t even know what
the point is 
of all this coming 
and going and being.

Translated by Juan Cole
from Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyat, [pdf] Whinfield 145

4 Responses

  1. A fresh translation. But where Khayyam expressed lapses of bewilderment, Rumi was able to attain higher points of revelry. And that revelry, we find the highest calling.

  2. Khayyam (or whoever wrote this)knew. So did the Irish astronomer William Rowan Hamilton, the British mathematician William Kingdon Clifford and the Persian reformer Mansur Al-Hallaj.

  3. Q: Knew what?
    Revelry is great, but one can still be bewildered in the interstices. It’s a possibly productive state. I find gardening to be a good thing to do until I figure it out. Instead of running roughshod over people in order to buy a more pretentious car than your neighbour, cultivate your garden. The flowers and trees are satisfied with forming their bodies into things of beauty, to be admired by other creatures.

    • Revelry is the decoy. The bewilderment that: “is it me or is it not me?” was not the question, but the answer. Bewilderment is a term in mystic language, as in the sixth valley in the Attar’s conference of the birds. As existence came from nothingness, then nothing is in the way. Mentioning Hamilton and Clifford was to say that this is not an Eastern thing. They knew and they were bewildered by this bewilderment.

Comments are closed.