Sunday, February 12, 2006
Illustration Friday: Simple
A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness—
O, Wilderness were Paradise enow!
Some for the Glories of This World; and some
Sigh for the Prophet's Paradise to come;
Ah, take the Cash, and let the Credit go,
Nor heed the rumble of a distant Drum!
Look to the blowing Rose about us—'Lo,
Laughing,' she says, 'into the world I blow,
At once the silken tassel of my Purse
Tear, and its Treasure on the Garden throw.'
And those who husbanded the Golden grain
And those who flung it to the winds like Rain
Alike to no such aureate Earth are turn'd
As, buried once, Men want dug up again.
-Omar Khayyam (translated by E. Fitzgerald)
Okay, there's my simple Valentine's Day sentiment. Before I went Googling for the exact poem, all I knew was the 'jug of wine, loaf of bread, and thou' business; which I thought was a pretty simple set of needs. I had done most of the work on the illustration already when I looked up the actual words, so I didn't bother to go back and set it 'underneath the Bough,' or amidst 'the blowing Rose.'
You folks more knowledgable than I may have known the whole poem (which goes on quite a ways from where I left off) and the fact that Omar was a Persian poet who lived during the 11th century. Mr. Fitzgerald translated some of his works in the 1800s, and he enjoyed a fair share of posthumous fame. ...Well, maybe you can't actually posthumously enjoy something... but, anyway his poetry was being recited again.
Be nice to your Valentine on Tuesday. If you don't have one, please spread some good will to someone else. Peace to all of you
postscript: Whoa. Just posted to IF, and I see that there are already over 300 entries on the topic... and it's only Sunday morning (in this part of the world). So much art, and so little time to view it all.