In the eleventh century, in Persia, there lived a mathematician named Ghiyathuddin Abulfath Omar bin Ibrahim al-Khayyami--or, Omar, son of Abraham, the tent-maker. Omar wrote poetry, and while his rhymes received little attention in their day, they were rediscovered and translated into beautiful English--more than seven centuries later--by a gentleman and scholar named Edward FitzGerald. It was a meeting of minds, a great collaboration of the past and the present, and FitzGerald's rendition of those passionate verses has become one of the best loved poem cycles in the English language.
With their concern for the here and now, as opposed to the hereafter, Omar Khayyam's quatrains are as romantic today as they were hundreds of years ago; they are a tribute to the power of one moment's pleasure over a lifetime of sorrow, of desire over the vicissitudes of time. Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, presented here with Edward FitzGerald's original preface, is truly a classic, and it will stand forever as one of our finest monuments to love.