May 18 is observed as National Khayyam Day.
Born on May 18, 1048 in Nishapur, 2019 marks Khayyam’s 971st birthday.
Omar Khayyam was a Persian mathematician, astronomer, and poet in the 11th and 12th centuries notable for his contributions to geometry and designing the Jalali calendar. As a poet, Khayyam invented a tradition of poetry, quatrains (rubāʿiyāt رباعیات), widely translated by Edward FitzGerald. Following are examples of Fitzgerald’s translations.
“AWAKE! for Morning in the Bowl of Night Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight: And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught The Sultan’s Turret in a Noose of Light.
Dreaming when Dawn’s Left Hand was in the Sky I heard a voice within the Tavern cry, “Awake, my Little ones, and fill the Cup Before Life’s Liquor in its Cup be dry.”
And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before The Tavern shouted — “Open then the Door! You know how little while we have to stay, And, once departed, may return no more.”
Enjoy the photos of a statue of Khayyam and the Mausoleum, designed by architect Hooshang Seyhoun, erected over Khayyam’s tomb.
For readers fluent in the Persian language or those simply interested in sampling Persian music, you may be interested to watch this 4 part series of YouTube videos. These videos represent the collaboration between Khayyam, poet Ahmad Shamloo, classical vocalist Mohammad-Reza Shajarian, and composer Fereydoon Shahbazian from an album entitled Rubáiyát-e-Khayyám.