The tale of the inimitable Rubaiyat. T. Leacock-Seghatolislami.
In: Edward FitzGerald's The Rubáiyt of Omar Khayyám. Ed. by H. Bloom. Philadelphia, Chelsea House, 2004. p. 195-209.
(From Translation Persepctives XI. 2000)
In choosing to translate only the “Epicurean” quatrains, Fitzgerald gave the Rubaiyat a superficiality and a one-sidedness not found in the original. However, Tracia Leacock-Seghatolislami’ presents contrasting opinions. Divorcing the English poem from the Persian rubai, she exposes Fitzgerald’s lack of knowledge of Persian, the result being “a text so discombobulated that it is hard to trace in the Persian”. Despite this, Fitzgerald’s rendering “displays a sensitivity, a delicacy in the turn of phrase, which suggests that the poetic Muse was permanently encamped on his doorstep” (pp. 198-9). Though forcefully asserting the “true significance of much of Khayyam’s poetry, which often has a Sufistic feel to it”, the author fails to give convincing references or arguments for this. (Abstract from: Abstracta Iranica)