Saturday, April 02, 2005

Turn down an empty glass

And when like her, oh, Saki, you shall pass
Among the Guests Star-scatter'd on the Grass,
And in your joyous errand reach the spot
Where I made One--turn down an empty Glass!

from the Rubaiyat

Omar Khayyam is one of my favorite writers. I've kept a copy of The Rubaiyat by me for over thirty years. This poem was written about a 1000 years ago and yet it speaks to me. The language, the reflection. It's a shifting mirror that I never tire of looking at.

I became a fan of many classics as a teenager. I was definetly an odd bird. At the age of sixteen, I was ROFLOL over the comedies of Shakespeare. It's hard to pick a favorite comedy, but I think it's As You Like It. Mark Twain and O. Henry's short stories were piled up by my bed. I liked tragedies too. I memorized the first scene of Antigone and read the play over and over. I wanted to be like Antigone, to not listen anyone and follow my love and passion. Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand was another favorite. Whoa, Roxane and Cyrano, I'm still crying about that. Jack London's short stories haunt me. Jack had a power in his stories that shook me to me core and made question exactly what is humanity anyway.

I love Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I read it so many times my copy fell apart. I read the complete works of Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Carl Sandberg. These four voices are inside my head and they speak to me in varied ways all the time.

This is just the tip of iceberg of all the stories that have moved me as a teenager.

Still the anchor is Khayyam, and during my most reflective moments, I turn down an empty glass for him.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lovely. May interest you to know that Twain alos loved Fitzgerald's translation of khayyam, and kept copy of one on his person at all times. This would be stanza #81:
Oh, Thou, who Man of baser Earth didst make,
And who with Eden didst devise the Snake;
For all the Sin wherewith the Face of Man
Is blacken'd, Man's Forgiveness give -- and take!

Anchor, indeed.
ms@highlands.com

MollyMom103 said...

I didn't know this at all! I feel so honored to be in Twain's company. Thank you for sharing this. So much. Peace. Molly