The New Rubaiyat: Modern Affirmations and Aspirations Austin Torney

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Published: February 20th 2012

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The New Rubaiyat: Modern Affirmations and Aspirations  by  Austin Torney

The New Rubaiyat: Modern Affirmations and Aspirations by Austin Torney
February 20th 2012 | ebook | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, ZIP | | ISBN: | 3.24 Mb

Long before I’d ever heard of Omar Khayyàm, I had, apparently, come to some of the same conclusions as had he, or so my friend told me one day, saying that I was already living out and proving Omar’s philosophy. Amazed that I hadn’t heard of Omar, myMoreLong before I’d ever heard of Omar Khayyàm, I had, apparently, come to some of the same conclusions as had he, or so my friend told me one day, saying that I was already living out and proving Omar’s philosophy.

Amazed that I hadn’t heard of Omar, my friend gave me a copy of the Rubàiyàt, one of those charming small sized editions from the late 1800’s. Of course the Rubàiyàt stuck a chord in me which was already resonating to Omar’s frequency, so, I read it cover to cover several times, with both wonderment and understanding.As the years went by, I found other editions and began collecting them.

At the same time, I began writing down some experiences of my own, most of which I had either lived through or had seen through the eyes of my friends. It eventually occurred to me that I could write my own set of quatrains. Somehow, inexplicably, the verses came to me as I lived through all the experiences described therein, for I dared not write of any philosophies which had not been tried and proven.My quatrains, like Omar’s, aim into the heart of life’s dilemmas, offering simple, common sense solutions.

In this hectic, complicated world of ours, we often forget that it is the simple things in life that are still the most enjoyable and inexpensive, as well as that everyone dies, but not everyone lives. There are many who will read my quatrains and say “those are good ideas”, but immediately revert back to old habits, for change is not an easy thing.

All I ask is that they try again, and again, if necessary. Likewise, the spirit of Omar’s heady Persia-fume has reached me across the centuries, as he had hoped it might, and has overtaken me unaware, inspiring me to live and write, in that order.Edward FitzGerald was among the first to translate Omar’s Rubáiyát from the Persian into English, and he rather loosely paraphrased it- however, he caught its spirit and even improved upon it.

Of course, in translation, one cannot simultaneously preserve literal meaning, rhyme, rhythm, and meter, for something may have to be sacrificed- therefore, what is left has to be enhanced and rearranged until everything fits again. Fortunately, FitzGerald was sufficiently overtaken by Omar’s fumes wafting across the centuries and he went on through the language barrier to recondense the Persia-fumes and redistill them into a Victorian age masterpiece that contains the very essence of Omar Khayyam.

Others, such as Whinefeld, Graves, and Arberry have done much more literal translations, and these are quite beautiful, as well, but in a more exacting way. It seems that Omar has indeed achieved a sort of immortality, since his spirit and his words yet resist death, by living on in our readings.Inspired by all such works, I have endeavored to capture Omar’s spirit and join with it mine for more modern times to create these brand new quatrains of my own, although I have surely been influenced by FitzGerald’s gems.



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