The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam:
1955 Tahrir Iran Co. Akbar Tajvidi Edition - The Quatrains of Abolfat' H Ghia'th-e-Din Ebrahim Khayam of Nishabur

This Iranian edition from the Tahrir Iran Co., with illustrations from Akbar Tajvidi, from presumably the 1950s, has many quirks, here are the top ones:

It is similar to this spiral-bound edition in that there are multiple translations of the text within it: English, French, German, and either Arabic or Farsi (I am guessing Arabic, based on the table of contents).

I can’t confirm since I can’t read Arabic, but I am pretty confident that you can read it either left to right or right to left. Either side seems to have a title page and the important content. The numbering goes from right to left, but the non-Arabic content proceeds normally left to right.

The English content isn’t exactly Fitzgerald’s…and when a particular quatrain is, it is noted as ‘Filtz Gerald’. I’m guessing this is a mix of English translations. Don’t know where to begin with the other languages.

If anyone can provide more clarity on this copy or the Arabic bits, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Entry update history:

  • Update 11/2020: Tweaked line about the book jacket cover, now that I have better understanding of Gaylord and what is going on with the jacket itself.
  • Update 04/2022: Revamped the page to be of the new layout, added new pictures, and added more metadata that I was able to discern from the book on subsequent review. This book was/is hard for me to follow, I think due to it being able to be read from multiple directions and having multiple translations of the same text/it not being exactly built English-first.

The Book Itself

The jacket that my edition has is wrapped in a Gaylord book jacket cover. I am pretty confident it is custom to my copy.

The ‘extra’ content has multiple translations and the order doesn’t exactly follow what the contents say. I think it’s in opposite order (like the first one is the Publishers’ Forward, and so on, instead of that being last). I was very confused trying to find where things were at when referencing it.

And some of the content isn’t in English at all, from what I can tell. So, there are multiple introductions, but in…different languages.

The order of my photos is generally on the left to right form then restarts with the right to left order.

The Poetry

The Fitzgerald translations look to be from the first edition.

The Illustrations

Striking, vibrant art from Akbar Tajvidi. His little introduction about his work was charming and his dedication to this style shows.