Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam: Quatrain of the Day
A search for good times isn’t why we drink:
Wine’s not for going rogue or faithlessness.
We sip to bring ourselves to selflessness;
that is the secret of my drunkenness.
trans. Juan Cole, (Whinfield 66)
می خوردن من نه از برای طربست
نز بهر فساد و ترک دین و ادبست
خواهم که ز بیخودی بر آرام نفسی
می خوردن و مست بودنم زین سببست
For the earliest collection of verse attributed to Omar Khayyam see my just-published The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam: A New Translation from the Persian
(NB: the poem above isn’t in this collection– there are lots of such anthologies, and Whinfield favored the late Indian manuscripts.)
Here is what novelist Michael Chabon said about my new book:
- “’To read Juan Cole’s deft, plain-spoken translation of the Rubáiyát is to find companionship, to rejoin a thousand-year human conversation about how to endure, enjoy, and find a fleeting beauty in everlastingly dire times. The lucid, cogent and mind-opening Epilogue is a kind of grace, a gift freely given, from one of our most astonishing and generous intellects.’”
― Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Moonglow (2017)
or Nicola’s Books in Ann Arbor, who will ship it to you
or Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor, who will ship it to you
or Barnes and Noble, who will ship or do curbside delivery.
It is, of course, available wherever fine books are sold and many local bookstores ship books or have curbside service during the quarantine.
Here is what Iranian-American novelist Porochista Khakpour is saying:
“’Omar Khayyam is a Persian treasure and Juan Cole’s new translation brings him anew to Western audiences who for centuries have been both delighted and educated by this medieval sage! Reading The Rubáiyát is a thrill – you feel the echoes of the 12th century seamlessly into our 21st, as this is a holy book of wisdom and magic. In another perilous era for Iranians, it’s wonderful to see this enchanting volume make its way through the world yet again!’” ―Porochista Khakpour, novelist, essayist and author of Brown Album (2020)
Many thanks to her for the kind words!