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Edward FitzGerald and the Rubaiyat -Let’s mark the anniversaries today

March 31, 2020

f01-1iefgd28scfIt is 211 years since the birth of Edward FitzGerald on 31st March 1809, and 161 years since the first publication of his Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam on the same day in 1859.  We hope that all our readers will be able to join us in marking these anniversaries in some way.  FitzGerald’s Rubaiyat continues to give us much pleasure and support in today’s difficult times, and celebrating its birth provides a positive distraction from the present worries and the restrictions on our day to day living.  It is interesting to reflect that Edward FitzGerald led much of his life, especially the later years, in a form of self isolation.  In his case, there was no alternative of digital communications, but the vast corpus of letters that he left us is evidence of how important outside contacts remained to him, as they do to us today.

On this special day, we also send our own greetings to all our readers and their families .  Keep safe and well.  The OKR blog continues to be published, so if you have some interesting thoughts or findings about the Rubaiyat that you can share, please send them to us on the address you have, or on sandrabill@omarkhayyamrubaiyat.com, and we shall post them for all to enjoy.  All positive contributions to our thinking are a blessing at this time.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Charles Mugleston permalink
    March 31, 2020 11:10 am

    Gratefully received – dutifully shared. xx

  2. March 31, 2020 2:40 pm

    Hello Sandra and Bill, Thanks for today's post. I had never computed that Fitz published the first edition on his birthday. Marsha and I hope you're well and safe, as we are, knowing we are the lucky ones. May our good fortune continue as we do our best to provide some measure of help and comfort wherever and whenever we can. Most cordial regards.

  3. martinrkim permalink
    March 31, 2020 4:18 pm

    Yes, my calendar is so marked. This morning Judy (wifey) and I discussed the complex magic of Fitzgerald. A man who adored solitude and friendship in the same breath. I was trying to research why he chose to live so physically alone and could not recall why he made that choice. Perhaps you can enlighten me.

    I have enjoyed your email-blog and all the words you share…

    I’ll end with my 2 last Qs:

    CCXLIII (243) When the lights go out forever, and we join the darkening never-never… We sail back to our first harbor born— Later to return as yet another.

    CCXLIV (244) Just as the stars help open up the mind Our hearts shows us how to be more kind. While yesterday’s chaos bred today, Tis our comic-self that helps us unwind.

    >

  4. April 1, 2020 1:50 pm

    Our thanks to all of you for your comments. We are glad to know that you are keeping safe.

    David, you may like to know that yesterday evening, having raised a glass to Edward FitzGerald, we spent a pleasant time listening to your recording of the poem, with its excellent introduction – for those who don’t know this, see https://omarkhayyamrubaiyat.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/david-calderisi-has-new-website-and-cd/, though we don’t know whether the CD is still available?

    Martin, many thanks for sharing more of your quatrains with us. Both are very apposite. In answer to your query about FitzGerald’s self isolation, we feel that it stems from his personality, rather than being a specific decision. He clearly loved being with his close friends, as well as communicating with them by letter, but he seemed to feel uncomfortable in large groups and with people he didn’t already know. We have all probably known people like that. It always sounds as though he was more gregarious in his early years, especially at University, but became more introvert over time. He was very much the intellectual and that may have made communication difficult at times. A complicated man.

    Keep well and active. We shall try to do the same.

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