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Let no one assume that the poetry of The Rubaiyat is of slender value and achievement. The stanza alone, called rubai in the original Persian, is an astonishing innovation in English poetry.Who would have believed that the most common of all our poetic forms could have been reinvented as late as the mid-19th century?
This became the setting and premise for many of his later works.
And the rhymes themselves are so discreet that it is easy to overlook how adept they are at not rhyming similar parts of speech.
Fitz Gerald’s poem is an elegant day-long meditation on life, death, happiness and the pleasures of imbibing.
He was the eldest of 12 children, raised by his aunt, who was crippled and had to crawl to get around the house.
Although born generations after the end of slavery, Gaines grew up impoverished, living in old slave quarters on a plantation.