Not to the new year–that happened last night. To my last “Rubá’í of the Day“.
It’s hard to imagine that the first one went up on 12 August 2012. That makes this the beginning of the third year in which this series has been running. I have published all the seventy-five rubá’iyát from the first edition of Edward Fitzgerald’s famous translation, and am in the process of publishing the five hundred translated by Edward Whinfield. Today the 433rd of Whinfield’s rubá’iyát went up, leaving only 67 more to go. That means the last one will be published on March the 9th.
It has been a labor of love and has become a sort of flagship of this blog. At least one rubá’í gets a like almost every day. More prosaically, it is a way of keeping the blog active with new material going up every day even when I don’t have the time, energy, or inspiration to write an original essay. I will be sad to see it go–it will be like the parting of an old friend.
Life, of course, goes on, however, and I intend to continue publishing poetry day to day. For anyone who’s interested, you can follow this link to a poll I have to see what poets readers might be interested in. The main criterion is that the poems (original or translations) be in the public domain, so there are no copyright issues. I am currently inclined towards Hafiz. In the West, Omar Khayyam is the best-known Iranian poet because Fitzgerald’s translation of his Rubá’iyát. In Iran itself, however, Hafiz is universally acclaimed as the greatest lyric poet. He, too, wrote in the rubá’í format, as well as writing ghazals and many other types of verse. Since he is less-known in the West, I’d like to start publishing some of his works next.
My second preference of the poets listed on the poll would be Kabir, and my third Edgar Lee Masters. Both are well in the public domain, and less well-known than Rumi or Walt Whitman. I am, however, open to suggestions; and if some poet not listed strikes anyone as appropriate, I’d be interested to know. I’ll probably make a final decision by the end of the month so I’ll have time to start scheduling poems in the new series.
Meanwhile, enjoy the rest of the rubá’iyát!