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November 28, 2006


My personal favorites are from FitzGerald's 1859/60 translation:

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky,
Whereunder crawling coop't we live and die,
Lift not thy Hands to it for help -- for It
Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.

Shahriar Shahriari has an http://www.okonlife.com/> excellent website on the Rubaiyat. I particularly liked his attempt to convey the flavor of the original by using literal translations along with FitzGerald's versions. Highly recommended.

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