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The Illustrated Omar Khayyam took three months of labor but before I got down to the task there were dry runs. My WordPress blog was one such. (http://omarikhayyamdotcom.wordpress.com).

In submitting myself to the rigour and setting out my offering I have in turn discovered a few things about myself. After seeing my work into print what have I learned? Soul has needs  and in order to give it expression the writer/artist must also be equipped by inclination and training. The Illustrated Omar Khayyam was like a bouquet of flowers made up of flowers that fitted with an overall design I had in mind. After laying aside Omar Khayyam my soul urges me to carry on with another for which my life has prepared me. So be it.

My garden has not gone to pot merely because I made one bouquet. In the making of it I looked for colours and shapes that sat in harmony with the overall scheme not to mention the volume and fragrance to underpin the aesthetic arrangement my conscious self could agree with. I could think like a soul engaged in writing poetry as Persian masters would have done in which my belief-systems or religion played no role. Soul knows no religion, nation nor labels which man has willingly put on in order to be like every other. I resisted the idea.

I could make a living as an architect and at this time of life don’t need sell myself to be touted by some publishing house as an author of best seller. If the world discovers this old man or not is immaterial. This book is my calling card, proof of my earthly life.

 My next book shall be similar in approach but has nothing to do with poetry.

A thoughtful life of seven decades fortified by soul as back up, can endure great many things. Even so soul needs to be fed with every ounce of energy I can muster. Writing it all down would be back-breaking but pain soon passes.

If an angel in the next life should ask me if I wasted my gifts on the earth I have many witnesses but my works shall be my proof. More so since my soul shall say: Amen

http://www.lulu.com/shop/benny-thomas/rubāiyyāt-2014/paperback/product-21805897.html

Illustrated paper back and ebook

http://www.lulu.com/shop/benny-thomas/the-illustrated-omar-khayyam/paperback/product-21799136.html    

 

http://www.lulu.com/shop/benny-thomas/the-illustrated-omar-khayyam/ebook/product-21799421.html

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With all the hype of blood and gore IS bombed at the  box office.  From Syria to the Levant bad poetry is dead.  But good poetry still rocks! For instance in the Illustrated Omar Khayyam you can begin any where and still find on any page music of the soul.

Don’t take my word for it. Check out

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If those I loved were lost

The Crier’s voice would tell me –


If those I loved were found


The bells of Ghent would ring –

Did those I loved repose

The Daisy would impel me.


Philip — when bewildered

Bore his riddle in!

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The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.

It is the source of all true art and science.” ~ Albert Einstein

What greater mystery can we plumb than that of life? Is there any purpose or direction for which we have been programmed beforehand?

Life is a precious gift and every man and woman has the same gift to be used and it must make sense to our rational mind. So that window of opportunity to make yourself useful to you and others around you is narrow. Between birth and death is it not wisdom if you can throw light on or connect in some way to the mystery with the key you have? If we have been endowed with fine faculties to know ourselves why do we leave it to others? Do we make sense or make sense of what others tell as truth? Of what worth is the lamp of life it it were to be shown under the direction of others than to lead our own path? These are the questions I have covered in the Illustrated Omar Khayyam.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/benny-thomas/rubāiyyāt-2014/paperback/product-21805897.html

Illustrated paper back and ebook

http://www.lulu.com/shop/benny-thomas/the-illustrated-omar-khayyam/paperback/product-21799136.html    

 

http://www.lulu.com/shop/benny-thomas/the-illustrated-omar-khayyam/ebook/product-21799421.html

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If you must keep the curl of the unbroken wave

I shall take the whole  ocean with their swells

with staccato rhythm of ships tossed back and forth-

In their desperate flailing

I see spirit of man still daring to steer clear

And that is much more than oceans can bear.

I am a man and nothing less than whole continent

Is my haven.

If you must give this hour and show its hustle

And bustle of senses touching heights

I shall rather settle for this moment’s grace

Where my spirit is put to its rest

By both heaven and the earth.

I am a man nothing less than this indivisible

wholeness shall keep hour and the continent

Past time’s injury.

benny

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Abortions will not let you forget.


You remember the children you got that you did not get,


The damp small pulps with a little or with no hair,


The singers and workers that never handled the air.


You will never neglect or beat


Them, or silence or buy with a sweet.


You will never wind up the sucking-thumb


Or scuttle off ghosts that come.


You will never leave them, controlling your luscious sigh,


Return for a snack of them, with gobbling mother-eye.

I have heard in the voices of the wind the voices of my dim killed
 children.


I have contracted. I have eased


My dim dears at the breasts they could never suck.


I have said, Sweets, if I sinned, if I seized


Your luck


And your lives from your unfinished reach,


If I stole your births and your names,


Your straight baby tears and your games,


Your stilted or lovely loves, your tumults, your marriages, aches,
and your deaths,


If I poisoned the beginnings of your breaths,


Believe that even in my deliberateness

I was not deliberate.


Though why should I whine,

Whine that the crime was other than mine?–


Since anyhow you are dead.

Or rather, or instead,


You were never made.


But that too, I am afraid,


Is faulty: oh, what shall I say, how is the truth to be said?


You were born, you had body, you died.


It is just that you never giggled or planned or cried.

Believe me, I loved you all.


Believe me, I knew you, though faintly, and I loved, I loved you
 All.

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IMG_1286

This colour plate does not find place in the book.)

For those who are interested in Omar Khayyam my version shall certainly resonate as true to the original. Imagine the pleasure of reading him for the first time? Eight hundred years later you can relive the pleasure his quatrains first produced among his readers.

“In the ten sections of his book, Benny Thomas has composed his own Khayyāmasque quatrains covering most of the central and salient features of Khayyāmian themes. Whether it is in the chapter titled “Cup of Wine” or “Love Feast,” the essence of Omar Khayyām’s Rubā‘iyyāt is echoed in the poems of Benny Thomas. For those interested in a mystical reading of Khayyām’s quatrains, this collection of poems provides an invaluable insight…” (Selected from the Foreword by Prof. Mehdi Aminrazavi the author of The Wine of Wisdom.)

http://www.lulu.com/shop/benny-thomas/the-illustrated-omar-khayyam/ebook/product-21799421.html

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