Poem of the Week, by Omar Khayyam

My new poems podcast, Words by Wintercan be found here.

On the way back from a long jog yesterday I glimpsed this book in a little free library. The sight of it brought me straight back to childhood. The poet’s name used to mesmerize me, and so did the poem below, which I copied out as a little girl, knowing its power even then.

Re-reading this poem yesterday was hard. Hard because true or false, willfully ignorant or intentionally misleading, what’s said and done in these troubling times matters. Nothing can be canceled out.

Quatrain 74

The Moving Figure writes, and having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.


It’s not known for sure whether Persian poet and astronomer Omar Khayyam actually wrote all the poems in the Rubaiyat. Click here for more information.

My website: alisonmcghee.com

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