Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

The Moving Finger writes, and having writ
Moves on, nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a line
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

Omar Khayyam, Quatrain LI

Selections from the Rubaiyat

About the Rubaiyat

Depending on the sources of reference that one chooses, Omar Khayyam is believed to have composed somewhere between 200 and 600 Rubaiyat (quatrains). Some are known to be authentic and are attributed to him, while others seem to be combinations or corruption of his poetry, and whose origins are more dubious.

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam is among the few masterpieces that has been translated into most languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Hindi, Arabic, and Urdu.

The most famous translation of the Rubaiyat from Farsi into English was undertaken in 1859 by Edward J. Fitzgerald. It appears that in many of his translations, he has combined a few of the Rubaiyat to compose one, and sometimes it is difficult to trace and correspond the original to the translated version. However, he has tried his utmost to adhere to the spirit of the original poetry.




  •   This site offers translations of the Rubaiyat in different versions. There includes a literal translation, the meaning of these poems and also the version by E.J. Fitzgerald
  • Electronic Literature Foundation: This also offers  the E.J. Fitzgerald version

photo to: Menaka, Sri Chinmoy Centre Galleries.