New editions

Edward Fitzgerald’s Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Introduction and notes by Robert D. Richardson; original art by Lincoln Perry. New York, Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781620406564
The mystic Rubáiyát. [Illustrated by Penelope Cline]. Fig Tree Press, 2016.
75 tarot cards.
The quatrains of Omar Khayyam. Translated from the Persian by Joobin Bekhrad. Bloomington, Balboa Press, 2016. ISBN 9781504362542
The Rubáiyát. Along the Red Book Road.Quatrains of Omar Khayyám rendered into English verse by Edward FitzGerald. Introduction by Louis Untermeyer. Paintings by Linda Carter Holman. Oregon House, Red Shoe Publishing, 2015. ISBN 9780976973225.
John Morris-Jones: Penillion Omar Khayyâm. Golygwyd Dafydd Glyn Jones. Bangor, Dalen Newydd, 2015. ISBN 9780993251016


New books

Two new titles have been published recently:

Rubá’iyát of Hakim ‘Umar Khayyám. Selected quatrains of Khayyám. Translated into simple Solati Cover 2015English with spiritual interpretation. Edited and translated by Bahman Solati. Boca Raton, Universal-publishers, 2015. 109 pp. ISBN: 978-1-62734-033-5.

In this edition 60 quatrains are literally translated and presented with a spiritual explanation and with the Persian text of the quatrains. The introduction (20 pages) highlights the most important facts, features and history of Khayyám’s rubáiyat. Solati published a number of studies on Hafez, as well as on the impact of Sufism on post-Islamic Persian literature.

The 108 quatrains of Omar Khayyam. Persian – English – Chinese. [Selection and translation] Sen Du 108 quatrainsDu. Litfire Publishing, 2015. 148 pp. ISBN: 978-1-942296-75-1.

This is a somewhat remarkble edition, as it not only presents the quatrains in English, Persian and Chinese, the verses are also classified by subject matter in ten sections. Each quatrain has a title and for each one a rhyme pattern is given for the Persian text. These patterns are collated in a table at the end of the book. The Introduction and the Notes are partially in English and Chinese, whereas the Notes are composed from ‘copy-pasted’ fragments from various older editions and studies, which results in a somewhat cluttered impression. To fully enjoy this edition the reader needs to understand the Chinese language.

The Rubáiyát from the Bodleian ms.

The new website called Concordances of the Rubáiyát, is a project I have been working on for a couple of years. The website presents the quatrains from the Bodleian manuscript of the Rubáiyát that FitzGerald used for his famous translation. Together with the Persian text, taken from Heron-Allen’s edition of 1898, a number of corresponding translations is listed underneath each quatrain.

You will also find a number of (sortable) tables of corresponding quatrains, based on the tables in studies and publications by Anet (1957), Arberry (1949 and 1952),  Heron-Allen (1898), Thompson (1906) and Tirtha (1941). More tables will follow.
Finally there is a list of translations from a number of authors whose quatrains have a correspondence to the Bodleian manuscript.

Work on the project is still in progress, and I would highly appreciate to receive comments, corrections and suggestions.

A new French translation

Mercier Quatrains CoverFrench novelist and essayist Renaud Mercier published a versified adaptation of the quatrains from the Bodleian manuscipt, based on the edition by Edward Heron-Allen of 1898.  In a short introduction the translator explains why the rhyme scheme has been altered to AABB, which means that there is no ‘free’ third line, as not to discomfort French ears.

The booklet is printed on demand, and is also available as a Kindle e-book, from Amazon.

Les quatrains d’Omar Khayyam (adaptation versifiée). Renaud Mercier. 2014.
72 p. ISBN: 9781494315399

Omar in Spanish-America

PeripheralIn “Otras inquisiciones, 1937-1952” (1952) the famous Argentinian author Jorge Luis Borges published a short essay “El enigma de Edward FitzGerald”, in which he suggests that Omar might be reincarnated in Edward FitzGerald. In his earlier work “Inquisiciones” (1925) Borges also wrote a short essay called “Omar Jaiyám y FitzGerald” in which he refered to a translation to Spanish of a number of quatrains of Omar Khayyám by his father, Jorge Guillermo Borges (1874-1934). This reference to his father was left out in the later Inquisiciones of 1952.

Borges Jr.’s later essay may be familiar to the Omar devotees, but that his father was one of the first to translate Khayyám’s quatrains to Spanish is probably new to many of us. We learn more about early Spanish translations in a chapter “Omar Khayyam’s Epicureanism” by Axel Gasquet (Université de Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand), with the subtitle “The Spanish translations of Rubaiyats”. The author gives a brief summary of a number of translations published in Spanish-American countries. Here, and in the Phillipines twelve translations of the Rubáiyát were issued in twenty-six years. The first translation was by Juan Dublan (Mexico, 1904), followed by Gregorio Martinez Sierra (Madrid, 1907), and finally by Francisco Propata (Paris, 1930).

Four works are discussed more in detail: the versions by Dublan, Muzzio Sáenz-Peña, González and Bernabé. Gasquet describes the socio-cultural conditions of their time, and the sources of their work. He also shows how the hedonist-mystic debate played a role in these works.

Though the analysis is limited to only four translations, the chapter is rather interesting as it informs us about a number of translations that are not all in Potter, and that are probably unknown to many of our readers. One reason might be that these unknown translations were published in magazines or journals, or were part of anthologies.

The twelve translations that are refered to are:

  • DUBLAN, Juan. “Ruba’iyyat” de Omar Khayyam. Mexico, Caranza, 1904. (online at (Potter 509)
  • SIERRA, Gregorio Martinez. Los Rubayata de Omar Khayyam de Naishapur. In: ‘Renacimiento’, March 1907, pp. 89-104 (Potter 510)
  • MUZZIO SÁENZ-PEÑA, Carlos. Rubaiyat de Omar-al-Khayyam. La Plata, Sesé, 1914.
  • CASTELLOT, José. Rubaiyat de Omar Khayyam. Prologo por Jose Juan Tablada. New York, [s.n.], 1918. (Potter 584)
  • BORGES, Jorge Guillermo. (Sixty-two quatrains). In: ‘Proa’, 1924. (A smaller number of quatrains was published in ‘Gran Guignol’, 1920.
  • EULATE SANJURJO, Carmela. Rubayyat. In: ‘Antología de poetas orientales’. Barcelona : Editorial Cervantes, 1921.
  • GUIRAO, Pedro. Omar Khayyam. Las mejores poesías (líricas) de los mejores poetas. XXXI. Barcelona, Cervantes, 1922 (Potter 517)
  • BERNABÉ, Manuel. Rubáiyát de Omar Khayyam. Manilla, Imp. de la Vanguardua, 1923.
  • GARCIA CALDÉRON, Ventura. Omar Kheyyam. Rubaiyat. San José de Costa Rica, El Convivio, 1925.
  • GONZÁLEZ, Joaquín V. Rubáiyát de Omar Khayyám. Buenos Aires, Roldán, 1926. (Potter 518)
  • PROPATO, Francisco. Ensayo crítico sobre Las Rubáiyát de Umar-i-Khayyám. Acompañado de la versión castellana y de notas. Paris, Bourdon, 1930.

Peripheral Transmodernities : South-to-South Intercultural Dialogues between the Luso-Hispanic World and “the Orient.” Ed. by Ignacio Lopez-Calvo. Newcastle upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, c2012. ISBN 9781443837262.

Read about about this book on:

A number of Borges’s rubaiyat can be found at:

Two critical essays

VCUsiteA somewhat peculiar website is: The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, from Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, Virginia), that offers the Rubáiyát texts, (1st, 2nd and 4th renderings), a glossary, a bibliographical list, a short biography of Khayyám, a comparison between a number of quatrains by FitzGerald, the Persian text and a literal translation, and the introductions to the three editions.

Also there are two critical essays “Creating Another’s Work: Edward FitzGerald’s The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. A bibliographical essay” by Katie Elliott, and “FitzGerald’s second. Additions and Textual Changes in the 1868 Edition of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam” by Thomas Minnick. You’ll find these in the Criticism chapter.

The website is presented in the form of a book, with various illustrations from a number of artists. Unfortunately there is no year of publication, but it is from a later date than 2002.

A taste for wine

“Dear reader, do you have a taste for wine?
Do you require a specialist’s guideline
To lead you onto esoteric paths
Some exuberant vintner may assign?”

Green Vine Wine Cups 2013Len Green, from Australia, has just issued another book with selections from various translations of Khayyám’s verses, dedicated almost entirely to Omar’s wine quatrains and everything one needs to enjoy a good bottle: the vine, the grape, the juice, the draught, Saki, cup and cupbearers, bowls and bottles, jugs and jars, flasks and flagons, the rose and the tulip and of course your loved one.


The book Vine Wine Cups and Taverns – a Taste for Wine was published to raise funds for charity purposes.

It is available post free at a cost of AUD$12 in Australia and AUD$16 worldwide. Payment can be made by cash, cheque or money order payable to L. Green, and sent  C/O Robert Green PO Box 1151 Darlinghurst  NSW  1300  Australia, OR via  PayPal: Select “pay money”, and insert email address: Please email Len Green at the same address to advise.