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Archive for the ‘Persian poetry’ Category

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For the Illustrated Omar Khayyam http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/bennymkje

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review of Sept. 15 and signed:

The poetry of Omar Khayyam was well known to me from childhood but these watercolor illustrations are so ethereal and filled with both delicate and vibrant hues that they transported me to a magical time that the poet was talking about! Truly an outstanding illustrated book! Very glad I bought the e book and the paperback! It is a tantalizing treasure to return to often during the humdrum days of life! The author ought to be congratulated on this outstanding work!

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/bennymkje

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Book- VI The Tavern

“In this goblet of wine tears of all dead

Come to surface each sad thought left unsaid:

Among knots of men I sit alone with drink

And memories sink to the depths like lead.”

Why do we drink wine from the grapes? Some drink to forget and some drink to excess and many drink to wind down after a day’s labor. Whatever be the reason we shall never cut ourselves from our connection with the earth. We are merely drinking what is distilled from the earth. In other words we are recycling the idea ‘from dust to dust and ashes to ashes’  where our physical bodies and grapes are things apart from ideas each thing  represents.

In the quatrain(page 169) I have caught the nature of movement from the symbol of a goblet. This goblet filled with wine is the sorrow of living: bereavement, ruined hopes and lives on drift. First two lines denote  tragedy of life in ‘tears’  like bubbles are coming to the fore. By drinking what do we achieve? Do we not blunt the keenness of reality?  These memories are drowned as the last lines make  clear.

Here is an alternative reading:

Much as I seek ‘mong living and the dead

Upwells from this bowl their sighs left unsaid:

Among knots of men I sit alone with drink

And memories sink to the depths like lead.”

Upwells denote revolving earth whereby sighs of men are brought to surface

which with drink we send to oblivion.

I love the poetic form of rubaiyyat for it allows me to state an idea in its rigid rhyme pattern. If the first two lines express an idea the last two lines can be rephrased to give the idea far greater punch. On rereading my collection of quatrains I am surprised that I managed it rather well.

The Tavern as the metaphor for the world.

For those interested here is the link. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/bennymkje

benny

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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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Love of the world is like the sword of Damocles. You seek wealth, fame, name all for what? These are not you. Let us see what gave rise to this expression: the sword of Damocles..

According to legend, when Damocles declared that his king, Dionysius, must have such a enviable and easy life, Dionysius offered to trade places with Damocles. There was only one catch. Dionysius decreed that a sword be suspended over the throne by a single horse hair, so that Damocles would always know the peril of being king. Since then the Sword of Damocles has come to represent a threat of doom that could strike without warning. Being a man and prey to maladies of all sorts bereavement, envy of neighbors, malice of those for whom you only wished well are risks that can overwhelm you.
Quatrain #27 explains this:

Pomp and circumstance, how trivial are they

Against time,-and envy can find its way:

Like shadows that belie the lay of land

Find we even our blood join in the fray.

benny

If this were a TV program you shall be in time for a word from the sponsors:
Remember the time you read Omar Khayyam for the first time? I assure you a feast for the eyes and soul.
Here are the links,

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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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Check out the link :IMG_1433

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

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