In the eleventh century, in Persia, there lived a mathematician named Ghiyathuddin Abulfath Omar bin Ibrahim al-Khayyami--or, Omar, son of Abraham, the tent-maker. Omar wrote poetry, and while his rhymes received little attention in their day, they were rediscovered and translated into beautiful English--more than seven centuries later--by a gentleman and scholar named Edward FitzGerald. It was a meeting of minds, a great collaboration of the past and the present, and FitzGerald's rendition of those passionate verses has become one of the best loved poem cycles in the English language. [via]
With their concern for the here and now, as opposed to the hereafter, Omar Khayyam's quatrains are as romantic today as they were hundreds of years ago; they are a tribute to the power of one moment's pleasure over a lifetime of sorrow, of desire over the vicissitudes of time. Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, presented here with Edward FitzGerald's original preface, is truly a classic, and it will stand forever as one of our finest monuments to love.