Quatrain 30

You know, my Friends, with what a brave Carouse
I made a Second Marriage in my house;
Divorced old barren Reason from my Bed,
And took the Daughter of the Vine to Spouse.

FitzGerald, Stanza LV, 4th ed.

Heron-Allen, 87: "This quatrain is translated from C 175":

من باده بجام یکمنی خواهم کرد
خودرا بدو رطل می غنی خواهم کرد
اوِّل سه طلاق عقل و دین خواهم گفت
پس دختر رزرا بزنی خواهم کرد

man baade bejaam-e yekmani khaaham kard
khod raa bedo ratl-e mey ghani khaaham kard
avval se talaaq-e aql o din khaaham goft
pas dokhtar-e raz raa bezani khaaham kard

I will put wine into a one-maund goblet,
I will make myself rich with two pints of wine:
first I will say the triple divorce to reason and faith,
then I will make the daughter of the vine my wife.


Mehdi Aminrazavi, 140, modifies FitzGerald's rendition below to approximate the Persian and to make the following point: "Khayyam embraces the sophia perennis and tastes the sapiental wisdom that lies at the heart of all divinely revealed religions.  To do so, in the tradition of great Sufi masters, he has to denounce reason and intellect in its rational sense as well as the formalism of religious law (shar‘iah). Wine, this powerful symbol of Divine intoxication and of dissolving and annihilating oneself in Divine love, is used by Khayyam exactly as traditional Sufis do." 

You know my friends, with what a brave Carouse
I will enrich myself with two goblets of wine in my house
Divorced old barren reason and faith thrice
And took the daughter of the vine to spouse.

Khayyaam is not likely a Sufi.  Further to what is said above, why would Khayyaam, let us assume he is the speaker here, write in this way, strike a Sufi pose in this quatrain?  Perhaps it's this "both & and" dimension of Khayyaam enunciated by Aminrazavi and spoken about in the pages of his Wine of Wisdom.  The khayyaamic defies categorization--you cannot label Khayyam this or that.  He certainly wishes to divorce himself from the intellectual pursuits we discussed in the previous quatrain--the fine and subtle points of philosophers and religious authorities, which in Khayyaam's view are pointless. Better to come to the present world of love and wine, wine which offers being-in-the world wisdom (my language here is "after Aminrazavi", and I refer to Amirazavi, his fourth chapter, and offer apolgies for not having addressed "wine" before--and not even now beyond what I have just said).

In the fifth chapter of his book, Aminrazavi, making use of the quatrains collected by Swami Govinda Tirtha and examining seven fundamentals of Sufism, considers that Khayyaam, if a Sufi at all, would likely be a Sufi unattached.  On page 150, Aminrazavi makes the point, that to make the agnosticism of Khayyaam's quatrains palatable and culturally acceptable to Persians then and now, poetic license needs to be combined with mystic license.  That is, to view Khayyaam as a Sufi exonerates him from the charge of heresy.  Khayyaam needs exoneration.  Iranians value him because of what Hillmann calls his "culture-specific skepticism" and his pitting the individual against established authority.  Add to it, the wonders and show of Iranian springtime found in many khayyaamic quatrains.

Hedaayat includes this quatrain (77) and so does Whinfield (196), but neither Dashti nor Forughi-Ghani have it.  In my quatrain 22, I had talked about the (liquid) measure, man, and I am assuming that the measure ratl, like man, may vary over time as does money.  The triple utterance of talaaq to divorce a spouse -- thrice would appear to make it final, no going or taking back -- is, from what I have read, controversial.  I will wait for others to comment on this.


Below is a "Sufi" quatrain attributed to Khayyaam in Swami Govinda Tirtha's Nectar of Grace (Government Central Press, Hyderabad, 1941).  I am calling this a "Sufi" quatrain since Tirtha felt that there was a higher purpose in love and wine when these images and references were used by Khayyaam.  Note that altogether, Govinda Tirtha assembled almost eleven hundred quatrains, an astonishing number, which he believed were Khayyaam's. 

I wish to include this quatrain because of its importance to Tirtha , because of the sentiment contained in it, and last, because of the likely inauthenticity of the poem.  I have no way of knowing whether it is inauthentic, but I have only this thought: it seems to suit, in quatrain form, commentary on Khayyaam or a verse "explanation" to cover certain quatrains about wine, love, and beauty.  And there are many of these.

Here's an interesting speculation: let's say that a number of quatrains were in fact written by Khayyaam, call them "authentic" quatrains.  What about the rest in the khayyaamic corpus, the "inauthentic" quatrains?  Were some of them glosses on particular quatrains or types of quatrains and others poetic additions to recurrent themes in Khayyaam? This is a fascinating question and is not meant to ignore Aminrazavi's injunction that we see the entire corpus as "khayyaamic" and not try to tease out what's authentic and what's not.

Tirtha prefaces the quatrain below: "My venerable teacher in the Nizam college ... used to recite the following quatrain as a key to many 'Omarian quatrains'":

آن لعل گرا‌بها ز کان دگرست
وین دُرّ یگانه را نشان دگرست
اندیشهٔ این و آن خیال من و تست
افسانهٔ عشق را زبان دگرست

IX. 56 (pp. CLVIII-CLIX)

aan la‘l-e geraanbahaa ze kaan-e degarast
vin dorr-e yegaane raa neshaan-e degarast
andishe-ye in o aan khiyaal -e man o tost
afsaane-ye ‘eshq raa zabaan-e degarast

Tirtha has translated (with break after second couplet):
That ruby hails from other heights of old
This pearl unique would other rays unfold

Tho' I and thou may guess for this and that
A tale of love in other words is told.

Tirtha continues: "Thus when ‘Omar spoke of "The Ruby" or "The Ruby Wine" or "Wine" he meant Love Divine in many quatrains."