Book Section: CHAPTER VII — Tentatively Intersecting the Findings with a Few More Khayyami Quatrains — by Mohammad H. Tamdgidi

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Abstract

This essay, titled “Tentatively Intersecting the Findings with A Few More Khayyami Quatrains” is the seventh chapter of the book Khayyami Astronomy: How the Newly Discovered True Birth Horoscope of Omar Khayyam Reveals the Origins of His Pen Name and Independently Confirms His Authorship of the Robaiyat, which is the third volume of the twelve-book series Omar Khayyam’s Secret: Hermeneutics of the Robaiyat in Quantum Sociological Imagination, authored by Mohammad H. Tamdgidi.

In this chapter, Tamdgidi intersects the findings of his studies so far with just a few (fifty) more of Khayyami quatrains. His purpose here is not to argue for or against any quatrain as being authentically attributable to our historical Omar Khayyam. To do so we must await the findings of further studies, in subsequent books of this series, of other philosophical, religious, scientific, and literary writings more or less authentically attributed to Khayyam. 

For each quatrain Tamdgidi offers a tentative English verse translation of his own, one which gives the basic thrust of the meaning of the quatrain in an English verse robai form. He also offers brief comments on why and how that specific quatrain intersects illustratively with the findings of this study regarding Khayyam’s dates of birth or passing, age, or astrological themes or interpretations of Khayyam’s horoscope in its narrower and wider statement mapping as explored in previous chapters of this book and series.

A list of contemporary collections (that are not exhaustive) are provided. The reason the author chose these is simply to offer the most visible and most referenced collections of quatrains in which the quatrain has appeared or not, so that the reader can see to what extent the said quatrain has been “picked up,” so to speak, as a commonly attributed quatrain from Khayyam. 

The tentative overview of the sample of fifty Khayyami quatrains explored plus the two studied in depth across the prior two chapters serve to offer glimpses of the following hermeneutic strategies that may prove fruitful in exploring the Khayyami Robaiyat as a whole.

1. For one or another reason, the poet was secretive about his poetic work.

2. Writing such poetry in quatrain form was not incidental, nor were they a past time. The quatrains were not deemed separate and sporadic, but conceived as being interlinked and “stitched” or “sewn” together as part of an overall life’s intellectual journey, as in a “book of life.”

3. Astrology, its worldview, its questions, and its tropes, are not incidental but essential to the overall story being told.

4. The definitive signature quatrain of Omar Khayyam previously discovered in the series, one that helped independently confirm his authorship of the Robaiyat, seems to point to a collection of 1000 quatrains. Given that quatrain and many others we have, as samples, examined in this chapter are among the least acknowledged quatrains attributed to Khayyam, this calls for a complete reconsideration of the attitude of dismissing the wider body of quatrains attributed to Khayyam in older extant manuscripts.

Overall, the brief survey of the sample has revealed that it is simply not true that Khayyam did not pay attention to astrological themes. Instead, the question has to be explored in terms of what his attitude was toward astrology as part of his overall intellectual project and how his attitude toward astrology itself evolved in the course of his lifetime. 

We would not have been able to discover his true dates of birth and passing without examining his horoscope, and the horoscope itself seems to have served not simply as a means of passing on information about his birth date, but as a bread crumb offering a hermeneutic key to understanding his life and work.

Recommended Citation

Tamdgidi, Mohammad H. 2021. “CHAPTER VII — Tentatively Intersecting the Findings with a Few More Khayyami Quatrains.” Pp. 251-295 in Omar Khayyam’s Secret: Hermeneutics of the Robaiyat in Quantum Sociological Imagination: Book 3: Khayyami Astronomy: How Omar Khayyam’s Newly Discovered True Birth Date Horoscope Reveals the Origins of His Pen Name and Independently Confirms His Authorship of the Robaiyat (Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Vol. XVI, 2021. Tayyebeh Series in East-West Research and Translation.) Belmont, MA: Okcir Press.

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