Edward Fitzgerald's translation of a selection of poems originally written by Omar Khayyam was originally published in 1859. Here, a selection is read by Alfred Drake.
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam is a poetic marvel, a work that has survived translation into many languages, while losing little of its force and its wry character. As a source of literary imagery and memorable quotations it ranks with the Bible and the works of Shakespeare. While Edward Fitzgerald was neither the first nor the most scholarly of the English translators of the Rubaiyat, his translation has been largely responsible for the world-wide popularity of this monument of classic Persian poetry.
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam as translated into English by Edward Fitzgerald is one of our best-loved books of poetry - and for good reason. Cynical, self-deprecating, witty, mystical, in love with wine and beauty while aware of life and death, Omar's poems put many thoughts we have all had into words we can all enjoy.