Omar Khayyam (1) [Whinfield 26]

In these one,
       three days
      a lifetime has passed,
like cascading waters
    or a desert squall.
But regret for two days
    never comes to mind:
       the one that hasn’t arrived
            and the one that long since passed

– Omar Khayyam

Trans. by Juan Cole
from Whinfield 26


For the life and thought of the Iranian humanist, Omar Khayyam, see the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry.

2 Responses

  1. And for all the goodness and sweetness, there’s plenty on the other end of the teeter-totter:


    I met a traveller from an antique land
    Who said: `Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
    And on the pedestal these words appear —
    “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.’

    Percy Bysshe Shelley

    Is “Ozymandias” an arcane, occult anagram for “Dick Cheney?”

  2. Thanks! This poem from Khayyam reminds me of Buddhist viewpoint:

    “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” – Buddha.

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