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March 3, 2013

Omar Khayyám’s poetry continues to occupy Iranian scholars, as two more articles were recently published.
Cognitive poetics as a literary theory for analyzing Khayyam’s poetry. Leila Sadeghi Esfehani. In: Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 32 (2012) 314-320. Online available at:
Translating metaphor and simile from Persian to English: a case study of Khayyam’s quatrains. Morteza Zohdi, Ali Asghar Rostami, Abou Saeedi. In: Theory and Practice in Language Studies, vol. 1, no. 9, pp. 1122-1138 (September 2011). Online available at:

Thus spoke Khayyam, by Ayob Palani and Adnan Talabani, was published in 2012. This new translation of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam was felt necessary, as the translators explain in their preface, “because so far, the magnitude of his poetry have not been presented with a full consideration for his unique expression and usage of words”. However, when you read something like:

I’m proud of Tavern, for its belongers belong
With fair as you observe, simple are its wrong
In School did not up rise, any belonger of heart
Ruin be on this place, for it’s an ignorance mart

(quatrain 61)
you’ll probably wonder how on earth this adds to our understanding of Khayyám’s poetry.
Balboa Press, 2012. ISBN 978-1-4525-0741-5.

Hedayat LiederenTranslated from the Persian is a first edition in Dutch of Sadegh Hedayat’s Taraneh-haye Khayyam, by Ali Soleimani: Liederen van Khayyam. The book was issued in honour of the 110th birthday of Hedayat. Apart from the Persian text, a verse translation and a literal translation are given, preceeded by Hedayat’s introduction, and followed by supplementary biographical information about Khayyam.
Drachten, Het Talenhuis, 2013. ISBN 978-90-78660-21-7.

A little bit less recent is another Dutch translation by Ewoud Bon: Omar Khayyam. 119 kwatrijnen. The translator chose a large selection from FitzGerald’s versions and smaller selections from Avery/Heath-Stubbs, Ataby, Graves/Ali-Shah, Pijl, Toussaint and Nicolas. The text of the originals accompanies the Dutch translation. For those who understand Dutch, this is a nice, light-hearted, not-too-literal rendering, whith some occasional humor.
Barneveld, Boekenbent, 2011, ISBN 97890-8570-908-4.

GreatUmarKhayyamThe Great ‘Umar Khayyám. A global reception of the Rubáiyát, edited by A.A Seyed-Gohrab, presents the results of the Omar Khayyám conference, held in Leyden, July 2009. The contributions, preceeded by an introductory essay by the editor, deal with a large variety of subjects, arranged in sections like “Khayyám in Persia”, “Khayyám in the Arab world and Turkey”, “Khayyám in the Netherlands”, “Russian and Georgian reception of Khayyám”, “Khayyám’s reception in Victorian England”, “Khayyám in India”. A final chapter discusses the necessity and possibilies of an international Omar Khayyám database.
Leiden, Leiden University Press, 2012. ISBN 978-90-8728-157-1.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Garry Garrard permalink
    March 4, 2013 9:53 am

    Re Thus spoke Khayyam, by Ayob Palani and Adnan Talabani, – at last. All is revealed!
    More seriously, was this done by one of those computer-generated random slogan generators for T shirts etc, that have been mentioned in the recent press?

  2. March 4, 2013 10:42 am

    A fascinating compendium of information, Jos. It is great that there is still so much interest in the verses and thanks for alerting us all to this new work. But the Palani and Talabani verse you quote leaves us stupified. Are all the rest as bad? How could a publisher let that through?!

  3. coumans permalink
    March 4, 2013 11:52 am

    Thus spoke Khayyam: yes, it is really horrible. Here is another quatrain (nr. 26):

    “Dearest, in friendship as your sights meet
    Perhaps that of companions, in memory much greet
    Since fine wine you devour and digest conjointly
    Turn when comes to us, you invert it wholly”

  4. Garry Garrard permalink
    March 4, 2013 1:23 pm

    I’mn speechless!

  5. March 4, 2013 3:16 pm

    Heh-heh … I’mn {sic} speechless as well! Should I do a new CD? 🙂

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