Sunday 13 November 2011

More classics updated: The Rubáiyát

The classic Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám is beyond my reach, but I can speculate on what might have been written had the author possessed the fore-sight of Nostradamus.


The press-ed finger spraying coloured scrit
  moves in the night, with daubs of teenage wit
Though teacher calls to write a dozen lines
  in tears of boredom motionless they sit

might have been rendered instead of the classic and more well known:

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.

It lacks the gravitas of the original but this is perhaps more than compensated for by the more comprehensive embodiment of the modern daily experience of many of us, which after all is what I feel the poet was striving for.

And which of us doesn't truly appreciate the lack of power that any amount of tears or frustration can exercise over the leaving bell?

Were I not able to express it so concisely I would go on with more verses as did the poet of old, but I feel that the reader will rightly be able to grasp my position.

I also feel it unnecessary to emphasis the difficulty in removing graffiti, a point which seemed to obsess the poet which caused him to labour the point.

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