The Moving Finger writes, and having writ, Moves on; nor all thy Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line.
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, Fitzgerald translation

What we shall be is written, and we are so. Heedless of God or Evil, pen, write on!
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, same quatrain, Graves and Ali-Shah translation

Amazing difference, isn’t it?

Fitzgerald tried to preserve the poetry, whereas Graves and Ali-Shah went for literal and idiomatic accuracy. But the point here is that if you only ever saw one version, you’d think it was as accurate as an expert could make it. Seeing two versions in disagreement makes you wonder whether maybe they both missed something….

Pay attention to where your news and gossip comes from.


September 4, 2010 · by xalieri · Posted in Everything Else  


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