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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 1 page 19

  • musical note
  • Notes
  • musical note

* Quatrain 2: false morning = a glimmer in the sky before the true sunrise.

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* Quatrain 4: Xerxes = famed 5th-century BCE Persian king. Where I say “Xerxes’ crown,” FitzGerald uses “Jamshyd’s Sev’n-ring’d cup.” The Victorians were genial players of the poetry game, but today's public is less fond of such rhythmic workarounds as “Sev’n-ring’d.”

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* Quatrain 6: Nishapur = Omar’s hometown.

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* Quatrain 13: Jamshyd = in Persian mythology, the first man; Jamshyd became sovereign of the Abode of the Blessed and introduced the cult of the vine and other arts to mankind. King Jamshyd = “King Splendid.”

Bahram = in Persian mythology, a legendary hunter, particularly obsessed with hunting wild asses.

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* Quatrain 38: alif = first letter of the Arabic alphabet, a thin vertical stroke.

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* Quatrain 44: my computations = Omar's work on overhauling the Persian calendar.

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* Quatrain 65: Ramadan = the month of fasting.

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* Quatrain 80: turn down an empty glass — echoing Verse 28.

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THAT'S ALL FOR THIS ISSUE, SO...