He contributed to a calendar reform. His significance as a philosopher and teacher, and his few remaining philosophical works, have not received the same attention as his scientific and poetic writings. Al-Zamakhshari referred to him as “the philosopher of the world”. He taught the philosophy of Avicenna for decades in Nishapur, where Khayyám was born and buried. His mausoleum there remains a masterpiece of Iranian architecture visited by many people every year. Outside Iran and Persian speaking countries, Khayyám has had an impact on literature and societies through the translation of his works and popularization by other scholars.
The greatest such impact was in English-speaking countries; the English scholar Thomas Hyde (1636–1703) was the first non-Persian to study him. The most influential of all was Edward FitzGerald (1809–83), who made Khayyám the most famous poet of the East in the West through his celebrated translation and adaptations of Khayyám's rather small number of quatrains (Persian: رباعیات rubāʿiyāt) in the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Omar Khayyám died in 1131 and is buried in the Khayyam Garden at the mausoleum of Imamzadeh Mahruq in Nishapur. In 1963, the mausoleum of Omar Khayyam was constructed on the site by Hooshang Seyhoun. Omar Khayyám's poems have been translated to many languages. Many translations were made directly from Persian, more literal than the translation by Edward Fitzgerald.
The following samples are from FitzGerald's translation. 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. But helpless pieces in the game He plays, Upon this chequer-board of Nights and Days, He hither and thither moves, and checks… and slays, Then one by one, back in the Closet lays. And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before The Tavern shouted— “Open then the Door! You know how little time we have to stay, And once departed, may return no more.” A Book of Verses underneath the Bough, A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou, Beside me singing in the Wilderness, And oh, Wilderness is Paradise enow. Myself when young did eagerly frequent Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument About it and about: but evermore Came out of the same Door as in I went. With them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow, And with my own hand labour’d it to grow: And this was all the Harvest that I reap’d— “I came like Water, and like Wind I go.” Into this Universe, and why not knowing, Nor whence, like Water willy-nilly flowing: And out of it, as Wind along the Waste, I know not whither, willy-nilly blowing. And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky, Whereunder crawling coop’t we live and die, Lift not thy hands to It for help—for It Rolls impotently on as Thou or I. I sent my Soul through the Invisible, Some letter of that After-life to spell: And by and by my Soul return'd to me, And answer'd "I Myself am Heav'n and Hell:" Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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