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The Poets in the Garage – Omar Khayyam discovers a new interest in life

January 28, 2015

Bob Forrest has sent us information about an unknown (to us) motoring parody of the Rubaiyat. Thanks, Bob, for this contribution.

There was a series of poems published in The Austin Advocate magazine, published by the Austin Motor Company (for the owners of Austin cars), between August 1912 and March 1913, when the series seems to have been discontinued. Each poem was in imitation of some popular poet of the time, and Kipling, Browning, and Longfellow were among those parodied. No.IV of the series was “Omar Khayyam, who has discovered a new interest in life” (motoring, of course), and was a parody of FitzGerald by H.E., whose initials dominate the series after the first poem, the one in imitation of Kipling, which was by A. Elvidge.

The Omar Khayyam poem appeared in The Austin Advocate, vol.2, no.1 (November 1912), p.14. Here are a few sample verses.


austincar0115Myself when young did eagerly frequent

Agent and show, and heard great argument

Of different makes of cars, but evermore

Came out as much perplexed as in I went.


Ah! then I wasted many a good cigar

Trying to find the one pluperfect car;

And this was all I ever learnt from man,-

“The car I sell beats all the rest by far.”


Waste not the time that you have yet to spend

In weary seeking for the ideal, friend;

Buy a car now, enjoy life with the rest;

All things themselves will balance in the end.

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