The Rubáiyát is a Persian form made of several quatrains. Its name derives from the Arabic plural of the word for “quatrain.” This, in turn, comes from the Arabic Rubá, meaning “four.”
This Persian form of poetry is an unlimited series of rhymed quatrains. In each quatrain, all lines rhyme except the third, leading to this pattern:
a – 2nd line rhymes with the first.
a – 4th line rhymes with the first and second
These are some of the favorite quatrains from the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam translated by Edward Fitzgerald:
Wake! For the Sun who scattered into flight
The Stars before him from the Field of Night,
Drives Night along with them from Heaven and Strikes
The Sultan’s Turret with a Shaft of Light.
Come, fill the Cup, and in the fire of Spring
The Winter garment of Repentance fling;
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly – and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.
[Stanza 7, 1st edition]
A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread — and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness –
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!
The Moving Finger writes; and having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.
For more information see: Rubiyat
MARIE ELENA’S Rubáiyát:
Rosie’s Book of Monster Love (a Rubáiyát for little ones)
On a page where monsters lurked,
Underpaid and overworked,
Feeling useless, sad, and irked
There amongst the story’s snooty
Characters of empty beauty
Overvalued, charmless types
Moral character off-duty
Lived delightful little Rosie -
Chatty, she, and very nosey.
She transformed the monsters’ page,
Made it colorful and cozy,
Summoned monsters, large and small,
Left out not-a-one at all,
Made them tea and cakes to savor
Oh, those monsters had a ball!
Rosie held each monster tight,
Loved “so much,” and took delight
Being cuddle-loved by ogres
On the page devised for fright!
Rosie spread her arms out wide,
“All friends here!” she beamed with pride.
As each page turned eagerly,
Rosie’s love spread story-wide.
© Copyright Marie Elena Good – 2013
(In honor of my just-turned-two granddaughter Sophie [aka "Rose" and "Rosie"]. When she loves a toy, she squeezes tight and says “SO much! SOOOOO much!” She also often spreads her arms wide as described in my poem, as if to pull all of us in the room into her arms, and exclaims, “All friends, here!” while she just beams with delight. We have no idea where she gets this stuff. The love of our lives, for sure!)
DARKNESS IN THE WESTERN SKY
A lurking sense of animus
for one who once was amorous,
descends upon a heart so torn
leaving love less glamorous.
Surrendered heart left mangled
from a tethered heart so dangled,
a soul in distant shadows lives
in memories deeply tangled.
When eyes are closed one’s vision clears
and in the whistling wind one hears
the sounds of life harmonious,
although separated by the years.
The softness of her hand still lingers
in the tactile stroking of her fingers;
a touch to play inside your heart
like the song of celestial singers.
And in the West her body rests,
with hands held folded across her chest,
and perpetual night remains descended
clutched against her tranquil breast.
How can this love in memory lie
long after reasons for it dies?
Do souls get punished for misgivings
to assure that we the living cry?
© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013