Where Some Buried Caesar Bled A title taken from The Rubiayat of Omar Khayyam
I have had the Middle East on my mind lately and particularly Iraq. When I was growing up, I thought of it as a beautiful, exotic place full of romance and adventure,history and culture, stretching back to the beginnings of Western (and Eastern) civilization. It was the place of the mythical Garden of Eden, the birthplace of Abraham. The Arabic culture gave birth to Algebra and the builders of the Alhambra.
There was a 78 RPM record that my Dad played of Ralph Bellamy reading The Rubiayat of Omar Khayyam. My father played it for the family to enjoy. Can you even imagine that happening in a modern home now? Heck, I didn’t even do it for my children. Dad was a Romantic to be sure. I am so glad he was. I like being able to be moved by Romanticism. The Rubiayat was written around 1120. The title of my acrylic art, posted here, comes from the translation of the line:
“I sometimes think that never blows so red The Rose as where some buried Caesar bled; That every Hyacinth the Garden wears Dropt in her Lap from some once lovely Head”
For anyone reading this who does not already know, the translation is that of Edward Fitzgerald and his translations are given great credit as English literature of the 19th century and much criticism as not being very true to the original author, Omar Khayyam. The author, a Persian mathematician and astronomer, wrote about a thousand verses and Fitzgerald selected about one hundred. The word rubiayat derives from an Arabic word meaning four and refers to the quatrains in the poem.
I looked all this up just for you, if you are interested. There are several websites devoted to the long poem. Look it up and enjoy it. The traditional translations read beautifully and a person who loves to read poetry aloud will have a great time with it.