Omar Khayyam, the poet of contemplation and uncertainty
Born in 1048, Khayyam lived in the 11th and 12th centuries, during the reign of the Seljuqs and was much respected by the Seljuq kings.
He is the most well-known eastern poet among the Europeans for his book of poems ‘Rubaiyat Omar Khayyam’ (Quatrains of Khayyam) which includes more than 100 quatrains. A great number of his quatrains concentrate on love, life and death.The great contemporary Persian writer, Sadeq Hedayat, described the philosophy of Khayyam’s poems as creation, the passage of life and ‘Carpe Diem.’ His poems have also had great influence on western poets including Mark Twain and T.S. Elliot. Khayyam’s book has been translated into a number of languages and was introduced to the western world by Oscar Fitzgerald.
Khayyam is known not only for his poems but also for his achievements in mathematics and astronomy. His calendar reformations resulted in the invention of “Jalali calendar” which is the world’s most accurate calendar; having only a one hour margin of error in 5500 years.
Omar Khayyam died in 1131 and buried in Neyshabur, his birthplace. A spectacular tomb was erected in his honour and many visitors are fascinated by the eye-catching architecture and peaceful atmosphere.