Poetry for the Drinking Man : The Rubaiyat


Seek the company of men of righteousness and understanding, and fly a thousand leagues from a man without wit. If a wise man giveth thee poison, fear not to drink thereof, but if a fool offereth thee an antidote, pour it out upon the earth.

My study of The Rubaiyat, that is, “The Quatrains” of Omar Khayyam, continues. I’m reading from a collection of three translations combined in one volume. It seems disrespectful to read Khayyam’s work from a cheap paperback, when you consider how many beautifully illustrated editions have appeared in the past. To imbibe his words in such a fashion is akin to drinking fine wine of excellent vintage from a Dixie cup. Furthermore, the Bardic Press edition (2005) I purchased is rather slipshod in its production, with minor errors here and there (such as  ”quotation” marks facing the wrong way and misplaced, commas). I wouldn’t recommend it.


Bardic Press edition: what I’m reading

I’m currently making my way through the Justin McCarthy translation, which is quite different from Fitzgerald’s.

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