The Rubaia is a Persian verse form written in iambic pentameters in a four line stanza (quatrain) and consisting of ten syllables per line. A rubaiyat is a collection of such poems. The rhyming system is AABA. For example:
The time to sow and reap is now behind; To cares of past and future all are blind. Remember now the Golden Age of yore; Enjoy the simple pleasures you may find.
For the very, very clever the un-rhyming line from the previous stanza can form the basis of rhyme for the next stanza. After the above stanza you would make lines 1,2 and 4 rhyme with yore in the next stanza.
A well-known version of a rubaiyat is the one by Omar Kayam - 1048 1131. Omars work was not written as a continuing poem. Each stanza is independent of any others in the collection. This knowledge helps the reading of the collection as otherwise you wonder where the poem is going as I did for years.
Heres one written in Farsi (Persian) by Mawlana Jalalludin Rumi in the 14th Century. Note the rhyming pattern:
Anwâr-é Salâhu'd-dîn bar angêkhta bâd dar dîda-wo jân-é `âshiq-ân rêkhta bâd har jân ke laTîf gasht-o az lutf gozasht bâ khâk-é Salâhu'd-dîn dar âmêkhta bâd
This translates as: May the splendors of Salahuddin be roused and poured into the eyes and souls of the lovers. May every soul that has become refined and has surpassed refinement Be mingled with the dust of Salahuddin.
A good example of how translation of rhyming leads to difficulties.
Harry, so sorry I am late getting back to you. I read this with interest and will attempt to create my own Rubai’a. Your tutorial on the form is clear, will read it a couple of times more then go for it
Ah, the wonders of poetry (or any sort of writing) translated from other languages. I'm not a poet, though I do have an interest in poetic forms, particular traditional Haiku (the improvised, spoken kind, rather than the written sort, which actually violates the concept of Haiku, as it's supposed to be both spoken and improvised. This also makes me think of how much brilliant, ancient haiku was lost simply because the poet was satisfied with speaking it and saw no need to write any of it down!) Having said that, I really like this offering you've presented. Though I'm familiar with Rumi, I've read precious little Persian poetry. This is a great introduction.
Thank you for your valued comments. It is such a loss when the poetry of pre-literate cultures has gone for ever. Often, much later unfortunately, somebody will write one or two down but then they are never so pure as we might like. This happened with the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf. I'm not talking about the film which is a travesty of the story. Harry
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