Omar Khayyam

Omar Khayyam

by John Pollen

->>>DOWNLOAD BOOK Omar Khayyam

John Pollen (1855-1923) was an official in the Indian Civil Service. A keen linguist, he learned Russian, Esperanto, and Persian and in 1915 published an English translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. His collection contains 158 quatrains and includes a set of seven prefatory quatrains by Andrew Lang and a foreword by the Aga Khan. John Pollen was a keen activist against discrimination against Indians, and his translation of the Rubaiyat was published to raise funds for the welfare of Indian soldiers engaged in World War I.

In the foreword, the Aga Khan wrote: 'The charm of the Rubayiat, which lies in the intensely human spirit pervading them, is enhanced by the poet's inimitable directness of expression, his terse and incisive phrases and a simple grace of style, with that unrivalled and untranslatable music of words to which the sonorous language of Persia peculiarly lends itself. To reproduce these subtle features of the original in a translation is not an easy undertaking. FitzGerald succeeded in a remarkable degree in bringing out the spirit of Omar's quatrains in his famous translation; which in some respects transcends the beauty of the original, but to achieve this end he had to diverge from the letter of the Rubayiat as well as from the sequence of the verses. Dr. John Pollen in his more faithful translation has accomplished a task of greater difficulty, and has done justice both to the letter and to the spirit of the original. In its simple and attractive garb the version now offered to the public, for the benefit of the Indi an soldiers who are now laying down their lives for the Empire on the battlefields of three continents, deserves to find a place on the bookshelves of the numerous admirers of the poet in the English-speaking world.'

Omar Khayyam

John Pollen

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