Short Summary of “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam”

The Rubiyat of Omar Khayyam is a poem of high divine and spiritual meaning. The beauty and simplicity of this poem is so immaculate that people of all faiths and those who have no faith at all can seek divine solace in it.

Omar has used popular metaphors in his passionate praise of wine and love. They are mere symbols of Sufism where wine is the joy of spirit and the love is immense devotion to God.

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Omar has presented the nectar of divine ecstasy as a delightful alternative that leads to human enlightenment and eradicates human woe permanently. He has pictured the ordinary joys of life for the worldly men are able to compare the mundane pleasures with the superior joys of spiritual life. The literal meaning of the translated verses is completely absurd but the vast inner meanings are like a golden treasure house.


But the spiritual power inherent in this poem is a characteristic of the Persian poems which have an outer as well as inner meaning. While the west has interpreted Omar’s poems as highly erotic, the East has accepted him as a religious poet. Plumbing into the depths of the poem gives interpretations that make it appear like a shrine which is untouched.

Omar has distinctly suggested that wine symbolizes intoxication of spiritual joy and love. Some translators have interpreted the verses saying that the whole poem is an evocation of agnosticism and has a philosophy which seeks happiness through friendships and the avoidance of pain. It suggests brevity of life and the absence of an after life.


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