Herein are the 158 quatrains by Omar Khayyam from the Bodleian Rubaiyat retransmogrified, more than 100 of them omitted by FitzGerald, plus 14 more that came to me, from Omar’s vapours.
Coumans’ quatrain correspondence table at his fine website, showing the Bodleian Rubaiyat manuscript’s various public domain quatrains’ translations and/or stylizations, allows one to home in on the real Omar Khayyam by reading between the lines of literal and the poetic.
How ever so many quatrains dealing with drinking came to be written indicates how prime the theme of wine was meant to be, or at least the useful connections to thereof, plus the connotation of drinking wine extending unto the enjoyment of life in in general through its drinking in. Nevertheless, descriptions of total drunkenness are unmistakable and ever-present.
To force myself to really get into it, instead of just tending to skim, I took on the daunting task of totally re-transmogrifying them, excluding FitzGerald’s, for the most part, to make them new and different, but great, too, by absorbing them all, then vaporizing them, and redistilling them, with some of my own take, too, into reflected but new Persia-fumes faithful to the spirit of Omar.
For more conciseness, preciseness, readability, and speakability, I also required ten-syllable lines and the usual rubaiyat rhyming scheme, but with different and even more difficult rhyme words when possible.
FitzGerald employed only 35 directly, so there is much that is new, and many of those are quite astounding. What a windfall!
Let’s call FitzGerald’s renderings to be about 40, since he got two from a couple and also used bits and pieces. His Rubaiyat of 114 quatrains made for the greatest poem in history.