Wednesday, December 25, 2013

W51: Omar Khayyam Revisited

The Biblio-Mat offering this week
Was a poetry book I did once seek.
How fitting it now falls into my hands…
Could not wait to flip open for a peek.

Actually quite a beautiful cover.
The Omar Khayyam Revisited book,
Printed 1974, took
The translator, Hakim Yama Khayyam
67 pages of words to cook.

This book was an interpretation
Of an old work from the Persian nation:
The poet went on a drug vacation.

The visions begin...
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, for
Those that did not know, was a poem of yore.
Or actually a collection of
About a thousand verses, less or more.

The inscription. Dying to know what this "acceptance" is...
Every verse was a quatrain of wordplay,
A simple rhyme scheme of AABA.
Ten syllables in each line that formed the
Pentameter pattern of olden day.

And thus began the tripping of the out.
Other poets created new pieces by
Choosing some select verses on the fly
And reinterpreting them to find a
New take on a message that went awry.

In this contemporary piece I hold,
A different interpretation was told.
Through sixty-seven verses it explained,
How the first Khayyam was substance-controlled.

Written in the '74. Sultan indeed.
The old story that was once about love
Was retold as a tale consisting of
Re-imagining the great journey as
A quest to getting higher than above.

Or at least getting into a Tim Burton world.
In a lot of lines in a lot of blurbs
Was the mention of plants, greens, grass, and herbs.
A love of flora words? Perhaps… except
They were preceded by ingesting verbs.

So... basically smoke when you have nothing to do.
Happiness, this translator did imply,
Comes from enlightenment by getting high.
Smoke some nature to enjoy some life and
Your consciousness will float into the sky.

"When I die, roll me up like a joint."
Even the famous line was changed (and how!)
“A jug of wine, a loaf of bread - and thou”,
Despite being quite well known, did become:
“A lid of grass, a book of verse and thou”.

Marijuana, rolling papers, and you?
Subtle as black smoke rising from a flue.
Though with tons more verses like this, perhaps
The true Omar Khayyam was coming through.

Or maybe it's crack. Yep. Them be crack visions.
Funny though, midway into the poem
The translator, Hakim Khayyam, did stray
From the established format on display,
And the rhyme scheme changed to BAAA.

It was an interesting read indeed.
The gorgeous drawings really did succeed
In conveying the hallucinations
Of a spirit released and a mind freed.

Giving Rorschach tests to people who are high will always be amusing.
This review was tough to write from the start,
But one must always suffer for the art.
I do apologize, but being late
Was the difference between clever and smart…


Book rating: 8/10 (The translator phoned it in on a few verses but otherwise interesting take on a classic)

Random quote: “There was a door to which I found no key. / There was a veil past which I could not see.” (Story of my life…)

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