Number 23: Author with an X, Y, or Z in their name

Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

Omar Khayyám, Edward FitzGerald (Translator)

I enjoyed this one so much more than I expected! Poetry can be difficult to get through, but this is a delightful little ode to coping with the fear of nihilism through sheer, unbridled hedonism. And with versus like this, how can you resist?

Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,

Before we too into the Dust descend;

Dust into Dust, and under Dust to lie,

Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and – sans End!

It gives me chills. But it’s not all wine, gin gets a mention.

Oh Thou who didst with Pitfall and with Gin

Beset the Road I was to wander in,

Thou wilt not with Predestination round

Enmesh me, and impute my Fall to Sin?

But it’s mostly wine.

And lately, by the Tavern Door agape,

Came stealing through the Dusk an Angel Shape,

Bearing a vessel on his Shoulder; and

He bid me taste of it; and ’twas- the Grape!

I will be borrowing from it the next time I need to give a toast.