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The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

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The Hermetic Hour

The Hermetic Hour

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On Thursday January 14th, 2016 the Hermetic Hour with host Poke Runyon
will present a commentary on and a reading of the Rubaiyat a Sufi poem
from medieval Persia by the mystic and astronomer Omar Khayyam
translated by Edward Fitzgerald and published in 1859. The Rubaiyat is
quintessentially romantic in style and content. It is said to reflect
the ancient cyrenaic hedonistic philosophy of Aristippus and extols a
libertine lifestyle in preference to piety. When I was a teenager I
needed to break away from Christian fundamentalism so I adopted the
Rubaiyat as my alternative to the Bible. I memorized the entire poem so
that I could quote seductive passages to Baptist virgins while drinking
beer on the beach at sunset. Ah! Those were the days! Or as Omar would
put it: "Alas that Spring should vanish with the rose, and youth's sweet
scented manuscript should close, the nightingale that in the branches
sang, ah whence and wither flown again who knows?" And so, if you yearn
to know "What Omar's moving finger writ, " then tune in and we will
inoculate you against excessive piety.

 

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